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Full text of "History of the early life and business interests of the village and township of Leslie, Ingham County, Michigan"

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THE BURTON 
HISTOMCAL 
COLLECTION 

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THE DETROIT 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



Presented by 
JANET LAMBERT 



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Historg of Leslie 
Michigan 



HISTORY 

of the 

EARLY LIFE and BUSINESS 
INTERESTS 

Of the VILLAGE and TOWNSHIP of 

LESLIE 

INGHAM COUNTY 
MICHIGAN 




PUBUSHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF 

THE ELIJAH GROUT CHAPTER; DAUGHTERS OF 

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 

1914 



^11.4 1 "^''O 



VE4 



Copyright, 191 4 

The Elijah Grout Chapter 

Daughters of the American Revolution 

Leslie, Mich. 



To Horace H. Rackham 

Who so generously aided us financially in the 
publication of this History of the Early Life 
and Business Interests of Leslie, the Elijah 
Grout Chapter, Daughters of The American 
Revolution, is deeply grateful, and hereby 
expresses its sincere thanks. 



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IIISTORY of the Early Life and Business 
Interests of the Village and Township of 
Leslie, Ingham County, Michigan. Compiled 
and arranged by Mrs. Mina A. Vliet. Assisted 
by an Historical Committee, Mrs. Lennie Stitt, 
Mrs. Lois Du Bois, Mrs. Henriette Taylor and 
Mrs. Lenora Hutchings. 



preface 

The Daughters of the American Revolution have 
endeavored, in this history, to preserve the story of 
the struggles of the early pioneers of the village 
and township of Leslie. 

A few who remember the early days are yet alive. 
We feel indebted to the following : 

Henriette Taylor, Palmyra Hahn, Leonard Rice, 
Betsey Shaw, L. A. Royston, Jerome Scovel and 
A. A. Lumbard, for the material they have furnished 
and suggestions made. Many others have freely 
given aid. The committee wishes to express its 
great appreciation for what they have done. With 
the new material we have woven in some extracts 
from the published histories of Ingham county 
which were written many years ago. An effort has 
been made to carry the record of each family who 
came to LesHe before 1850 to the third generation. 

The committee begs the indulgence of the reader 
for any omissions or possible mistakes in this 
history. All dates and places have been verified so 
far as possible, from actual participants or family 
records. To the generations yet unborn this little 
volume is commended as a sacred roll of honor for 
those who, by their toil and struggle with a primi- 
tive wilderness, made possible the beautiful farms 
of Leslie township and the charming village in which 
we live. 



Z!;aI)leofContent0 

Introduction. 

Geography ^^ 

Aboriginal Inhabitants 1^ 

Early Settlement 15 

Early Settlers . . , 1^ 

Early Pioneer Home Life 65 

The First Celebration of the Fourth of July in 

Leslie 68 

A List of the resident Taxpayers of the Town- 
ship of Leslie for 1844 whose Family Records 

were not obtained 69 

The PubHc Schools of Leslie 73 

The Churches of Leslie. 

Methodist Episcopal 76 

First Baptist • 78 

Free Will Baptist 79 

First Congregational 80 

Seventh Day Adventist 81 

St. Mary's Catholic 82 

Leslie Boys Worthy of Special Mention ...*.... 85 

Early Business Interests of Leslie 93 

Village Incorporation 95 

Village Plat and Additions 96 

Business Interests of Leslie 96 

The Builders and Date of Building of the Busi- 
ness Part of Leslie 104 

Societies . 109 



Introduction 

In looking back over half a century we find Leslie 
township just merging into history and taking its 
name and place among the numerous townships 
being formed from government land in lower Mich- 
igan. It lies in the central part of the state and, on 
the government survey, is Township No. 1 North, 
Range No. 1 West. The eastern and southern bound- 
aries were surveyed by Joseph Wampler in 1824, the 
northern and western boundaries by John Mullett in 
1824-25, and the township was subdivided by Her- 
vey Parke in 1826. 

Leslie township was at first a part of the town- 
ship of Aurelius. It was organized as a separate town- 
ship on December 30, 1837, and received its name as 
follows: Dr. J. A. Cornell of Spring Arbor was a 
member of the legislature at that time. When 
Ingham county was organized and the townships 
named, each township was called by description and 
a name was given by various members of the House. 
When township No. 1 North, Range No. 1 West 
was called, Dr. Cornell proposed naming it ** Leslie" 
in honor of a much respected family by that name 
whom he knew in Eastern New York. The name 
was accepted and appears in the formal act of organ- 
ization of this township, which was passed in March, 
1838. The first township meeting was held at the 
home of Henry Fiske, a log dwelling which stood 
near the present site of the Allen House, on the first 
Monday in April, 1838. Henry Fiske presided as 
Moderator and Benjamin Davis was elected Super- 
visor. 



Hietori^ of %cs\ic, flDicbigan 

GEOGRAPHY 

The township of Leslie Hes in the southern tier 
of Ingham county, Michigan. It is bounded on 
the north by Vevay, on the east by Bunker Hill, 
on the south by Rives, and on the west by Onon- 
daga. It has a level or slightly rolling surface, is 
well drained by natural watercourses and is suited 
to general agriculture. Huntoon Creek runs in a 
general southerly course across the township, hav- 
ing its sources in Mud Lake on Sec. 3 and 10, and 
Huntoon Lake on Sec. 13 and 14. The water 
power on this stream was used in an early day, but 
later the dams were destroyed and the ponds 
drained for the promotion of health. 

The creek valley serves in part as the right of 
way for the Michigan Central Railroad and the 
electric line of the Michigan United Railroad, 
which give ready access to Jackson, Lansing, and 
all points north and south. 

The village of Leslie is situated in the southern 
part of the township, and North Leslie is a hamlet 
lying northwest from the center. 

ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS 

The early settlers in Leslie found many traces of 
the long occupation of the county by the various 
Indian tribes, Pottawattomies and Chippewas, who 
wandered over the Saginaw and Grand river valleys 
in pursuit of the game so abundant in their time. 
Every field, when brought under cultivation, yield- 

13 



14 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

ed Specimens of stone arrow heads, skinning knives, 
hammers and hatchets. Specimens of copper showed 
that by trade routes the copper from the upper 
peninsula had been distributed far from the mines. 
Bones were frequently plowed up. On Sec. 20, the 
quantity of bones found near each other suggested 
either an ancient battle ground, or else a cemetery 
or burial place. 

Indeed, the Indians were yet present in numbers 
within the memory of some now living. Awed by 
the strength of the government of the United States 
as shown by the war of 1812-15, they had by treaty, 
1819, surrendered their broad acres to the govern- 
ment and become its pensioners. This pension or 
annuity was paid annually at Detroit and thence they 
wended their way once each year to receive the 
same and participate in a few days of riotous indul- 
gence inthat great luxury — fire-water of the white man. 
The rest of the year was spent in hunting and trap- 
ping. Always hungry, their general relation to 
the early settlers was that of beggars of flour, tea 
and food. The settlement of their hunting grounds 
by the whites soon drove out the game; the dis- 
eases — smallpox and measles — so common among the 
white settlers were invariably fatal to those of the 
Indians who took the same and thus, as if by magic, 
they vanished from the land they had so long in- 
habited. Only one place in Ingham county com- 
memorates an Indian name and that is Okemos, 
which is named after the Chippewa chief of that name 
who died at his wigwam near that village in 1858. 
However, the old Indian trail from the north to 
Detroit by way of Jackson ran through the town- 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 15 

ship and served in an early day as the road over 
which all new settlers came into the township. 

EARLY SETTLEMENT 

Many of the early settlers of Leslie were educated 
people who came from refined and religious homes 
in the east. Fortunately, they did not lose their 
church letters in Lake Erie on their way to a wilder- 
ness home. They left their impress of Christian 
lives upon the new community where their devotion 
to truth and practical godliness was known. They 
met with many trials and hardships but kept ever 
before themselves the thought that some glad day 
the wilderness would yield to them of its fruits, 
giving them homes with all provisions and comforts. 
At times severe homesickness swept over them and 
they felt they had not counted the cost. They 
were obliged to make their beginning in the most 
primitive way, living in their covered wagons until 
the little log home could be built. Cooking 
was done over a fire on the ground. Bread was 
baked in an iron skillet over the coals. When the 
nights were cool, fires were built on each side of the 
wagon. These also served to keep the howling wolves 
at a proper distance. Indians were often unwel- 
come visitors. The primitive sounds, sights and 
conditions reminded them that they were indeed in 
a new and strange land. Sometimes a letter came 
to cheer them, but alas ! too often the eastern friend 
forgot the necessary postage of twenty-five cents. 
Several days would elapse before the required 
amount could be secured and the message of the 
loved one obtained. Nearly all privations incident 



16 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

to the settlement of a new country came to these 
pioneers, but no repining was heard. A daughter 
of an early settler says : "I remember when we had 
only salt and potatoes to eat and we thought it 
more of a picnic than a hardship — at least the chil- 
dren did." 

Early in March, 1836, the first log house in the 
village of LesHe was built by Elijah Woodworth, on 
Bellevue Street, near Huntoon Creek. This was 
followed by a second one near Five Comers, owned 
by Mr. Loomis ; a third near the Methodist Church, 
by Henry Meeker, and a frame one which is now 
called the Dowling residence, on Bellevue street 
by Mr. Elmer. Friends and relatives of the then 
venturesome pioneers soon followed. Among these 
were the father and mother of Henry Meeker, two 
married daughters and another son, Dr. Valorous 
Meeker, who was the first physician to settle in 
Ingham county. These families, as was customary 
in an early day, gave their name to the place 
where they settled and thus Leslie was christened 
*'Meekerville." 



Earlg Settlers 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 19 

EARLY SETTLERS 
Elijah Woodworth 

Elijah Woodworth was bom in Mayjfield, Mont- 
gomery Co., N. Y. He was a soldier in the war of 
1812. He came to Jackson Co., Mich., in 1835, by 
way of Canada. In March, 1836, he cut a road 
through the forest to Grand River and crossed on a 
raft. He then came north to the present site of 
Leslie and built his log house near Huntoon creek. 
He was assisted in the building by Amos Wortman. 
He said: '*My nearest neighbors north were at 
DeWitt, Clinton Co.; south four miles there were 
settlers in Jackson Co., east and west none but 
natives that I know of. During the summer, new 
comers in pursuit of homes found my habitation. 
Each had his name booked as he came to the door 
and his turn of choice of land followed his registry. 
Amos Wortman, Jasper Wolcott, and myself, became 
their guides in the wilderness. Our land was located 
at Kalamazoo in the order the applications were 
made." 

Elijah Woodworth had two sons : 

(1) Solomon. 

(2) Albinus. 

To Solomon were born seven children: Loretta, 
Esther, Sarah, Byron, Hattie, Herman and Burdette. 
Sarah married A. A. Lumbard. Sarah and Bur- 
dette live in Leslie. 

Josiah Rice 

Josiah Rice and family arrived in Meekerville, or 

Leslie, in 1839. He was a brother of Grandmother 

Meeker. *'Uncle Josiah,*' as everyone calle him, 

• established a pottery near where Mr. Kent's house 

stands. It was a wonder and delight to all the chil- 



20 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

dren. They eagerly watched him take a piece of 
clay, mould it like bread, throw it upon a revolving 
table, and gradually with his hands and a piece of 
wood raise and shape it into a bowl, a pan, a jug, or 
a vase. In the rooms of the Pioneer Society in 
Lansing may be found a vase marked, "Made by 
Josiah Rice at Leslie, Mich., 1849." 

Josiah Rice married Laura Stone in Sheldon, 
Vermont, Feb. 26, 1812. Eleven children were 
born to them: 

(1) Fornia, married Clark Graves. No children. 

(2) Palmyra A., married Alba Blake. No children. 

(3) Stillman, married Harriet Childs. Their 
children were Mary, Laura, Emma, Augusta, 
Hattie and Kittie. 

(4) Loretta Sophia, died in infancy. 

(5) Edwin Nelson, was a bachelor. 

(6) Samuel, died in infancy. 

(7) Josiah Wood, was a bachelor. 

(8) James Hamden. No record. 

(9) Leonard C, married Jane Woodhouse. 
Their children were Mary, Bert, and Edwin. 

(10) Laura Ann, married David Lester. Their 
children were Forest, Florence, Pet, Laura, Gladys, 
and Roy. 

(11) William Henry, married Helen Armstrong. 
Their children were Eva, Minnie, Blanche, and 
Lester. 

Jacob Armstrong 

Jacob Armstrong came from Charleston, Mont- 
gomery Co., N. Y., to Michigan in the fall of 1837. 
Mr. Armstrong has related his experiences as follows : 
**I hired a man and a team to transport my goods 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 21 

and arrived at the Freeman bridge over the Grand 
River on the 9th of September, 1837. I found the 
river impassable on account of heavy rains. The 
causeway some thirty rods long between the bridge 
and the north bank was afloat. I left my goods on 
the ground on the south side and my wife and I 
crossed on the floating logs by jumping from one log 
to another and came to Leslie that night, five miles, 
on foot. Next morning I started with an ox-team 
for my goods. The river was still impassable for 
a team. By the help of three hired men we 
loaded into the wagon what we could draw, and 
drew it across on planks laid on the floating cause- 
way and by taking two sets of planks, we could 
shift them every length of the wagon. We worked 
faithfully all day — a part of the time up to our waists 
in water — and got them over and arrived at our 
home in Leslife some time after dark. Usually when 
it was known that a family was at the river waiting 
to come over, settlers would go to their assistance. 
Sometimes whole days would be taken in getting 
them and their household goods across. After a 
time rough canoes were hewn out of basswood trees. 
The use of these lessened the dangers somewhat. 
During 1836 the river was crossed on a log raft. As 
soon as there were men enough to warrant the under- 
taking, a log bridge was built." Jacob Armstrong 
was one of the first settlers at North LesHe in 1837. 

Amos Wortman 

Amos Wortman came to Michigan in 1835 from 
Genesee county. New York. He remained in Jack- 
son over winter and on March 11, 1836, filed on Sec- 
tion 21. He assisted Elijah Woodworth to build 



22 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

the first house in Leslie, and boarded with him for 
two years. On October 28, 1838, he married Miss 
Charlotte Woodworth and settled upon his farm 
the following year. He helped cut the first road in 
the township of LesHe and also helped cut trails or 
roads through other townships while on hunting 
trips. These roads were little more than cow-paths. 
By his first wife he had five children : 

(1) Jane, married Leroy Landfair. 

(2) Emily, married George Curtis; second hus- 
band, Dudley Porter. 

(3) Milton, married Rose Doyle. 

(4) Charlotte, married John Robinson; second 
husband, George Burt; third husband, Seneca 
Huntley. 

In 1855 Amos Wortman married Mrs. Sybil 
Barnes. By his second wife he had three children: 

(1) Orlando, married Hattie Barnes. 

(2) George. 

(3) Ella. 

Mr. Wortman sold his farm in 1888. He died in 
Lansing on Sept. 29, 1892, and was buried at Leslie. 

Sidney 0. Russell 

Sidney O. Russell, of Seneca Falls, N. Y., filed on 
land in Section 20 and 29, Leslie, in May, 1836. The 
following year he brought his family and settled on 
his farm. Having made a small clearing, he sowed 
that fall the first field of wheat in Leslie township. 
Indians were numerous and made frequent calls at 
his log house, demanding flour, etc., which were not 
to be denied. Old Chief Okemos was a common 
visitor. In 1842 Mr. Russell moved into the village 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 23 

of Leslie that he might operate a water-power saw- 
mill he had bought. To this he added a small store 
which was the beginning of his mercantile success. 
Afterwards he erected a steam mill which furnished 
employment to a large number of men. The last 
of his building operations were those of his brick 
business block and his residence on Bellevue street. 
Mr. Russell's first wife was Mary Fox, of Seneca 
Falls, N. Y. To them were bom six children of 
whom three are now living: 

(1) Mrs. James Torrey. 

(2) Mrs. Mary Baggerly. 

(3) Mr. W. S. Russell of Jackson. 

To Mrs. James Torrey were born two sons, Lyn- 
ford and Clayton. 

To Mrs. Mary Baggerly, one son, J. Russell. 

To W. S. Russell four children were bom: Clara, 
Osmer, Juanita and Leslie. 

Mr. Russeirs second wife was Rumina Haynes. 
She survived Mr. Russell who died Nov. 8, 1894. 

John J. Tuttle 

John J. Tuttle was born in Metz, N. Y., and came 
to LesHe and settled on Section 7, in 1836. In 1837 
he brought his wife, Emma Warren Tuttle, to the log 
cabin he had erected in the wilderness. She was a 
granddaughter of General Warren of Revolutionary 
fame. 

His biographer says: "It was five years after 
taking up his abode in his new home before a team 
passed his door, or before he was able to see the smoke 
of any dwelling save his own. His good wife was 
ever ready to help indoors or out. Often in winter 



24 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

she assisted him in clearing land by piling and burn- 
ing the logs. Lye was obtained from the ashes by 
leaching in sycamore gums and then boiled down 
to * 'black salts'^ which could be sold for making sal- 
eratus used in cooking. This and maple sugar were 
the only products which could be sold for cash in 
those early days.*' 

Mr. Tuttle was always a good friend to the Indians 
who frequently encamped on his land. He was a 
strong-minded man and a dehghtful story-teller, 
always trying to make others happy. During his Hfe 
he served at different times as Supervisor, Justice 
of the Peace, and Coroner of Ingham county. He 
had three children: 

(1) Sarah Jane. 

(2) Ogden V. 

(3) Celestia. 

Sarah Jane married Daniel Frary. Their chil- 
dren were EHzabeth, Emma, and Blanche. 

Ogden V. married EHzabeth McArthur. Their 
children were Arthur J. and Grace. 

Celestia died in 1863. 

Mrs. John J. Tuttle died Sept. 2, 1887. John J. 
Tuttle died Jan. 20, 1903. Both are buried in LesHe. 

Daniel Ackley 

Daniel Ackley was born in Batavia, N. Y. In 
1829 he married Sarah Wortman. They came to 
Michigan in 1836 and settled on a farm north of 
town. Bears were plentiful at that time. One 
Sunday morning he and his wife were taking a walk 
when she saw an animal which she mistook for an 
Indian pony. Mr. Ackley secured his rifle and killed 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 25 

the animal which was a bear seven feet two inches 
in length. 

To them two children were born : 

(1) Eleanor, born Nov. 14, 1841 ; died April 17, 1848. 

(2) Martin, born April 10, 1845; died April 5,1912. 
Martin had two children: 

Fred, born Dec. 21, 1873; died July 9, 1908. 
Sarah E., born June 9, 1876; married Addison 
Van Alstine and now lives on the old homestead. 

Benjamin Davis 

Benjamin Davis of Jefferson county, N. Y., re- 
moved to Michigan in October, 1836. He remained 
in Wayne county until January 1, 1837, and then 
removed to Leslie, having filed on land in Section 
20 in May, 1836. His children by his first wife were : 

(1) Richard H., married Sallie DuBois, daugh- 
ter of Asa and Arvilla DuBois. Their children were 
Clarence, Richard, Benjamin, and John. 

(2) Clarissa, married David Potter. Their chil- 
dren were Benjamin, Melissa and David. 

The children by his second wife were : 

(1) Wilson, married Kate Van Wert. Their 
children were Stella, Clara and John. 

(2) William, had two children, Perry anxi Delia. 

(3) Emily, married Joseph Smith. 

(4) Bramwell, had two children, Ivan and Emily. 

(5) Dempster, married Mary Haskell. Their 
children were Willard, Hattie and Stella. 

(6) Deha, married W. W. Gates. Their children 
were Effie, Arthur, William, OHve, Clyde and Olia. 

Asa DuBois 

Asa DuBois came to Leslie in 1841. He married 
Orvilla Searls. Their children were: 



26 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(1) Samuel, married Mary Jane Helden. Their 
children were Pluma, Edith and Holden. 

(2) Sallie, married Richard Davis. Their chil- 
dren were Clarence, Richard, Benjamin and John. 

(3) Meramina, married Miles Smith. They had 
but one child, Claude. 

(4) Carohne, married Thomas Wildey. They had 
one son, Thomas. 

James Royston 

James Royston was born in Somerset county, 
N. Y., April 14, 1800. He came to Michigan in 
June, 1836, and located upon the place where L. A. 
Royston now resides. The family came by way of 
Buffalo to Detroit on the lakes and from Detroit to 
his farm by ox-team. At the time Mr. Royston built 
his log cabin there was but one other family within 
the limits of the present township of Leslie. He 
may, with propriety, be called one of the founders 
of the township inasmuch as he was elected Justice 
of the Peace at the first town meeting in 1838. His 
children were: 

(1) Thomas. 

(2) Lemuel A. 

(3) Wilham. 

(4) Mary Ann. 

(5) Sarah. 

(6) Cornelia. 

William died of sunstroke at Resaca de La Palma 
in the Mexican War. Thomas died in 1846. Lem- 
uel A. resides on the old homestead. He has six 
children: Herbert, Phoebe D.,Luella, Ellen, Mabel 
and Vene. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 27 

Elisha Godfrey 

Elisha Godfrey came to Leslie in 1836, bringing 
his family with him. When he reached Grand River 
he found a bridge made of logs which would sink 
into the water if stepped upon. The father was 
unwilling to venture with his family in the wagon 
over this primitive crossing. His little girl, Betsey, 
who was a cripple, heroically placed her crutches 
upon a log, pressed it down until it rested stationary, 
then swung herself upon the log and tried the next 
in the same manner until she reached the farther 
shore. This incident shows the inherent bravery, 
independence and determination which have made 
the life of Betsey Godfrey Shaw a success and bless- 
ing, regardless of environment. Her life history 
shows the struggles of a child of a pioneer. Her 
father was not strong and she was thrown upon her 
own resources early in life. Her school privileges 
were few. When about fifteen years old she had 
earned and saved enough money to pay for eight 
yards of calico at twenty-five cents a yard to make 
herself a new dress. A little later she added two 
light calico aprons and a cape to her wardrobe. 
These capes were made to cross in front and were 
considered quite dressy, but she had no shoes. For- 
tunately, an aunt bought herself a new pair and 
gave the old ones to the girl. These she had nicely 
mended and though they were two sizes too large 
she wore them to school all winter and began teach- 
ing in the spring. From that time on she was self- 
supporting. 

Elisha Godfrey married Polly Barden. To them 
were born thirteen children* 



28 HISTORY OP LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(1) Betsey Godfrey Shaw, had two children, Ed- 
win and Emery. 

(2) Charles, the second son of Elisha Godfrey, 
died in infancy. 

(3) Sophia Godfrey Jacox, had two children, 
Henrietta and James. 

(4) Richard, had one child, Matie Drake. 

(5) William, had five children: Charles, Ada, 
Frank, Norton and Albert. 

(6) Rosetta, died at 14. 

(7) Rosina, died at 18. 

(8) Berinthe, died in infancy. 

(9) Russell, had one child, Mrs. Grace Reid. 

(10) Eldridge, died in the civil war. 

(11) Pearletta, had seven children. 

(12) Pltima Godfrey Tarbell, had seven children. 

(13) Marietta Godfrey Small, had five children: 
Warner, Herbert, Henry, Homer and Boyd. All ex- 
cept Warner and Boyd died in infancy. 

Clark Graves 

Clark Graves came to Leslie about 1836. He mar- 
ried Fornia Rice, daughter of Josiah Rice. They 
had no children but adopted a little daughter who 
is now Mrs. Palmyra Hahn. Mrs. Hahnhas one son, 
Earl. Mr. and Mrs. Graves also raised two boys 
but they were not adopted. 

Mahlon Covert 

In 1837 Mahlon Covert settled in Leslie township 
upon a government claim of two hundred acres. Be- 
fore leaving New York he married Sallie Chandlers. 
He began at once to clear the land and build his log 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 29 

cabin. The forests soon gave way to a fine farm 
and in 1855 the log house was replaced by a mod- 
em home. 

In his life Mahlon Covert exemplified strong pos- 
itive characteristics. His home was blessed with 
four children: 

(1) Ansel. 

(2) Samantha. 

(3) Mary Ann. 

(4) Monmouth. 

Ansel Covert had six children: Fred, Carrie, 
Vemie, Gertrude, Grace and Katherine. Fred and 
Vemie died in childhood. The others are now 
known as: Mrs. Carrie Pickett of Des Moines, Iowa; 
Mrs. Gertrude Graves, Mrs. Katherine Ludwick of 
Leslie, and Mrs. Grace Stewart of Cleveland. 

Monmouth Covert had one son, Vinton. 

Samantha settled in the East. 

Mary Ann married Isaac Talman and has two 
children, Samantha and Fred. 

Rev. Elijah K, Grout 

Rev. Elijah K. Grout of Fairfax, Vermont, set- 
tled in Leslie in October, 1838. He came in the 
common conveyance; a covered wagon, bringing 
his wife and three young children with him. He 
purchased forty acres inside the present village cor- 
poration but this he afterwards sold, A new plank 
house was built on the hill on Bellevue street. This 
house, without windows or doors except as blankets 
or pieces of carpets were substituted, was made their 
happy home in the new land for many years. 

In the spring of 1839 Mr. Grout assisted in the or- 



30 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

ganization of a Baptist church in Leslie and was him- 
self ordained to the ministry in 1841. 

This young preacher rode on his pony many miles 
through the woods, following the blazes on the trees, 
fording the streams, and hearing the wolves howling 
in the distance, in order that he might carry to hun- 
gry souls the bread of life. For nearly thirty-seven 
years he preached the Gospel of the loving Christ, 
endured hardships as became a soldier of the Cross, 
was faithful unto death and, we believe, obtained a 
crown of life. His loss was sincerely mourned by 
all who knew him. He was a fine type of the pioneer 
minister and knew no man as his enemy. 

Mr. Grout had six children, two of whom are now 
living, Mrs. Henriette Taylor and V. H. Grout of 
this village. 

(1) Mariette, married Amsa Rust. To them were 
born ^Ye children: Minerva, Charles, Ezra, William 
and Ida. 

(2) Henriette, married William Taylor. Their 
children were Kittie, Carrie, Alfred and Mariette. 

(3) Gardner, married Mary T. Harrison. Their 
children were Hattie, Louise, Gerald and Marie. 

(4) Idris Sophronia, married Gurdon Corning. 
No children. 

(5) Hiram Valorous, married Flora Either for his 
first wife and Charlotte A. Stuart for his second 
wife. They have one child, Stuart. 

Mrs. Elijah K. Grout was a sister of Henry and 
Dr. Valorous Meeker, and the daughter of Benjamin 
Meeker, who were among the first settlers in Leslie. 

It is of further interest to state that Rev. Elijah K. 
Grout was a grandson of the Elijah Grout in whose 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 31 

honor the Daughters of the American Revolution 
Chapter at Leslie is named. 

Jonas Nims 

Jonas Nims moved from Cleveland, Ohio, to Mich- 
igan in 1838 with his wife and family of eight chil- 
dren, making the journey with an ox-team, fording 
rivers and traveling over rough roads. He came by 
way of "Jacksonburg" and moved into a log house 
on the Austin farm where he lived for some time. 
He afterwards bought the Mixer farm and built a log 
house. He was obliged to go to Eaton Rapids to 
mill as it was the nearest place where his grist could 
be ground. It sometimes took a week to complete 
the trip, and the mother having died, the children 
were compelled to remain alone in the wilderness un- 
til he came back. 

Jonas and Elinor Nims had eight children. 

(1) The oldest daughter died in childhood. 

(2) Benjamin, married Mary Godfrey. They 
had two children, William and a daughter. Electa 
Miner was Benjamin's second wife. They had one 
child, Elinor Nims Down. 

(3) Juliette, married Joseph Godfrey. Their 
children were George, Sheridan, Adelaide, Eunice, 
Janette, Clarissa, Marie and Luna. 

(4) Joseph, married Maria Smith. Their child- 
ren were Etta and Hattie. 

(5) Caroline, married William Wright. 

(6) Betsey, married Daniel Wright. 

(7) Clinton, married Clarissa Monroe. One child, 
Elinor. His second wife was Eunice Youngs. They 



32 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

had six children: Elmer, Curtis, Arthur, Estelle, 
Abigail, and Wilson. 

(8) Dwight, married Mary Jane Monroe. They 
had two children, Monroe and Jessie. 

Washington Scovel 

Washington Scovel came to Leslie in 1838. His 
children were : 

(1) Jerome. 

(2) Thales. 

(3) Orcelia. 

(4) Angelette. 

Jerome Scovel celebrated his seventy-fifth birth- 
day in May, 1912. He says that he is the oldest man 
living in Leslie who was born here. When he was 
nine years old he helped drive the seven yoke of oxen 
while Eli Bar den held the plow which was used to 
plow up the land where Main street is now located. 
It was several years before this, while he was riding 
behind an ox-team with his father, that the dog 
which ran ahead began to bark furiously. His father 
said the dog must have treed a squirrel, but investiga- 
tion showed it to be a large black bear. Settlers al- 
ways carried a gun with them on trips those days so 
the bear was shot and Mr. Scovel received ten dollars 
for the pelt. The little boy Jerome was so frightened 
by the rapid occurrence of events that he fell on the 
ground and clasped his arms around his father's 
knees. 

Jerome Scovel married Rhoda Miner. Their chil- 
dren were Lydia and Orcelia. 

Thales married Emma Clatworthy; second wife, 
Malvina Craig. They had one son who died in in- 
fancy. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 33 

Orcelia died unmarried. 

Angelette married Mr. Thorn and had one son, 



Walter Thorn. 



Nelson Norton 



Nelson Norton came from Cuyahoga Co., N. Y., in 
June, 1838. He brought with him his wife, Hattie 
Clark Norton, and one child. He drove some stock 
with him and at Detroit, where they stopped for one 
night, a fine new milch cow was missing, but, happily, 
was located by the call of her calf. When he reached 
Leslie he had but ten dollars in his pocket. It took 
nine dollars of that to buy a barrel of flour. He 
bought an eighty-acre farm one-half mile south and 
one mile east of Leslie. Not a tree had been cut on 
the place until they arrived and commenced to build 
their log house. Soon after commencing housekeep- 
ing Mr. Norton decided he would try to get some ven- 
ison for his family to eat. Starting out through the 
woods he soon scared up a deer which he chased into 
a neighbor's clearing. The two sons of the neigh- 
bor saw the deer coming, hurried into the house for a 
gun and killed the animal just as Mr. Norton came 
running into the yard. The meat was divided be- 
tween them. 
. The children of Nelson Norton were : 

(1) Theodore Norton, single, died 1912. 

(2) Celestia, married George Taylor. Their chil- 
dren were Flavius, Margaret, Florence and Homer. 

(3) George, married Mary Walker. Their chil- 
dren were Ada, Levi and Claude. His second wife 
was Frances Gibboney. Their children were Nelson^ 
Barry, Elsie and Paul. 



34 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(4) Albert, never married. 

(5) Edwin, married Catherine Gray. Their chil- 
dren were Albert, Ethel and Sophronia. 

(6) Caroline, single. 

(7) AdaHne, single, died in 1910. 

(8) Levi, died in infancy. 

Nelson Norton was born in 1813, died in 1884; 
Hattie Clark Norton was born in 1818, died in 1887. 

Calvin Edwards 

Calvin Edwards came from Cayuga Co., N. Y., in 
1837, with his wife and six children. The family 
were originally residents of Newark, N. J. They 
came in a covered wagon and it took a period of five 
weeks to make the trip. They traveled around Lake 
Erie through Ohio and could make ten miles a day. 
Mr. Edwards settled on Section 6 and later moved 
to Section 18. He was a very energetic, public- 
spirited man and was prominent in all township 
affairs until his death in 1851. 

Calvin Edwards married Jemima Wade July 4, 
1814. She died December 20, 1817. There were 
two children: 

(1) Martha, born July 3, 1815; died April 2, 1816. 

(2) Liddie, born June 15, 1817; died Sept. 6, 1817. 
His second wife was Phoebe Tuttle whom he mar- 
ried June 7, 1818. By this wife he had six children: 

(1) Jemima, bom Jan. 15, 1820; died April 24, 
1848. 

(2) Stephen, born June 14, 1821. 

(3) Ogden, born August 8, 1823. 

(4) EHzabeth, born May 22, 1825; died Nov. 28, 
]862. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 35 

(5) Oliver, born April 23, 1828. 

(6) Sally, born Oct. 24, 1831 ; died June 29, 1857. 
Jemima married Jebulen Eggelston Jan. 15, 1843. 

They had two children, Willington, born April 11, 
1844; died Sept. 22, 1873; and Phoebe, born Feb. 19,' 
1846; died April 27, 1848. 

Stephen married Ruth Spalding Dec. 12, 1849. 
Their children were: 

Mary M., born Dec. 11, 1846; died Sept. 22, 1850. 

OpheHa, bom May 17, 1849; died Aug. 5, 1849. 

Mary O., born Dec. 12, 1850. 

Phache A., bom June 29, 1853. 

Willis, born Feb. 19, 1865; died Feb. 11, 1866. 

Ogden married Jane Austin. They had four chil- 
dren : 

Flora, born Oct. 10, 1845. 

Floridon, born Oct. 5, 1847. 

John, born May 5, 1850. 

Ella, born Dec. 26, 1853. 

For his second wife he married Marion J. Young. 
They had one child, Ogden J., born April 25, 1881. 

Oliver married Catherine Beach, March 9, 1851. 
They had six children: 

Etta, born March 8, 1856; died October 9, 1863. 

Cora L., born April 26, 1858; died Dec. 27, 1860. 

Mary A., bom June 12, 1860; died Jan. 16, 1861. 

Ogden D., bom Aug. 5, 1862; died Sept. 20, 1863. 

Oliver A., born Aug. 5, 1862; died Sept. 25, 1863. 

Allen R., born April 30, 1869. Allen R. married 
Miss Anna Sayres of LesHe. 

Jotham Morse 

Jotham Morse left New York for the west in 1831. 
He made his first stop in Ypsilanti. While there he 



36 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

married Sarah Harwood of that place. In 1840 he 
settled on his farm which was located two miles 
south of Leslie. His first home was a log house. 
The logs were paced as to length. The roof was 
made of split shakes. These were held in place by 
binding poles. The floor was the earth until it was 
replaced with one of plank hewn out with an ax. 
The door was a blanket. The chimney was made of 
split or rived sticks laid up in mud. Windows were 
a luxury to be obtained afterwards. When the 
shanty was finished, Mr. Morse took stock and found 
he had just three dollars in cash. Fuel and food 
were required. His ax became dull in preparing the 
first and he had to go two and one-half miles south 
to Deacon Freeman*s who owned the only grindstone 
in the vicinity. After getting up a woodpile he 
secured a job threshing wheat for Alva True who 
lived five or six miles away. The wheat was 
threshed with a flail. He secured five bushels of 
wheat as pay but he was obliged to go fifteen miles 
to mill over bad roads with an ox-team before the 
wheat could be had as flour for bread. 

Mr. Morse lived on the same piece of land for forty- 
eight years. He died Aug. 13, 1890, and his wife 
May 28, 1908. 

Jotham Morse had eight children : 

(1) OHve, married E. W. Kitchen. They had 
one child, Olive, who was brought up by her grand- 
parents as her mother died when the babe was five 
weeks old. 

(2) Mary, married E. W. Kitchen after the death 
of her sister Olive. Two children were bom to them, 
Nellie and Alva. Her second husband was D. J. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 37 

Owens. Their children were Adelaide, Lloyd and 
Vera. 

(3) W. H. Morse, married Eugenia Way. They 
have two sons, William and Roy. 

(4) Josephine, married William McLennon. They 
have three sons, Fred, William and George. 

The first land entries in Leslie township were made 
by William W. Harwood, father of Mrs. Jotham 
Morse, 

William Barden 

William Barden was born in New York. He came 
with his famliy from Cuyahoga county, Ohio, in 
1837. They traveled with a horse team. The trip 
was very slow and tedious as the road and trails were 
very rough. When they reached the Grand river 
the water was very high and the bridge appeared to 
be afloat. They crossed by stepping on the floating 
logs. A few more hours of travel brought them to 
their future home in the Walker district. Every trial 
incident to pioneer life came to them. It was fifteen 
miles to a store. While the father was absent, the 
family lived in daily terror of the Indians. The 
mother was very anxious that her children should 
have an education so she started a school in her home 
and taught all who came free of charge. 

Mr. Barden died in 1881and Mrs. Barden in 1898, 
leaving five children. 

(1) Sally, married Elisha Godfrey. Their chil- 
dren are given in the Elisha Godfrey history. 

(2) William, married Harriet Finch. Their chil- 
dren were Corliss, Ceilon, Ida, Fidelia, James and 
Norton. 



38 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(3) Charles, married Jenneth Austin. Their 
children were Lavance and Nora. 

(4) Eli, married Eliza Philkins. He still lives 
in Leslie. 

(5) Julius, married Melinda King. Their chil- 
dren were Or a and Rosa. His second wife was 
Phoebe Austin Pugsley. 

Joseph Godfrey 

Joseph Godfrey was bom in New York in 1807. 
He married Lydia Miner of Massachusetts. They 
settled in Leslie township in 1839. They came from 
Cuyahoga county, Ohio, with an ox-team. He was 
a large strong man, well fitted for the hard work 
necessary in making a home in the wilderness. He 
made a practice of buying land, making some im- 
provements and then selling at a good profit. The 
Indians feared "Big Joe" as they called him. For 
that reason his wife and family never felt uneasy 
when left alone. He was a hunter and killed much 
game while looking land. No one in the township 
seemed more prosperous than "Big Joe." However, 
after six years of hard work he was taken sick and 
died. His good wife, with the help of her three sons, 
continued to improve the farm. In 1850 she mar- 
ried Mr. Reynolds and returned to Ohio. She died 
in 1856. Her sons were: 

(1) George. 

(2) Emmons. 

(3) Russell. 

George, born in 1833, married Mary Cravatt. 
They had ten children : 

Martha J., Seth B., John A., Harvey F., George E., 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 39 

Ida M., William F., Stuart E., Henry W., and Asel B. 

George is living at Try on, Neb. 

Emmons, bom in 1836, married Elizabeth Ray- 
mond. She died in 1864. He enlisted in the army 
and returned to Leslie in 1865. He was married a 
second time and died at Lincoln, Nebraska, He 
left three children: Dr. Frank Godfrey, Jessie 
Barnes and Phila Dickeman. 

Russell B., the third son, was one of the first to 
enlist in the war. He was killed at the battle of 
Gettysburg. 

Mrs. Abbie Haynes 

Mrs. Abbie Haynes left New York in 1837 with 
her three children and started for Michigan, the state 
selected as her new home. Her journey via Canada 
was uneventful and in due course of time they 
settled in White Oak township. Later she moved to 
a farm three miles southwest of Leslie where she 
lived for twelve years. Then she moved to Leslie. 
Mrs. Haynes was no common woman. She had a 
fine intellect, possessed great executive ability and 
had a vigorous constitution. Her cheerfulness, 
added to her ready wit, made it a treat to converse 
with her. She loved society, did not grow old until 
deprived of her strength, and when she answered to 
her Father's call she went with the perfect faith and 
trust of a little child. 

The children of Mrs. Abbie Haynes were: 

(1) Rumina Haynes, married S. O. Russell. No 
children. 

(2) Ephraim, married Abbie Anne Earl. Their 
children were Ann, Horace, Sarah, Ed. and Fred. 



40 HISTORY OP LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(3) Frances S., married J. W. Burchard. Their 
children were John W. and Loiiisa F. Her second 
husband was Mr. Newman. They had one daughter, 
Isadore. 

(4) Martha L., married J. C. Leonard. Their 
children were Frank, Mattie and John. 

(5) Horace, had no children. 

(6) Barbara, married Mr. Mills. They had one 
son, Fred. 

(7) William, married Geraldine Lansing. No 
children. 

Lester Miner 

Lester Miner and his wife, Emily Jones Miner, 
came to Leslie in 1838. They had seven children: 

(1) Washington, married Mary Brown. No 
children. 

(2) Electa, married Benjamin Nims. They had 
one child, Eleanor Downs. 

(3) Harrison, married Josephine Miner. They 
had one child, Nettie. 

(4) Rhoda, married Jerome Scovel. They had 
two children, Luda and Celia. 

(5) Daniel, married Mary Ann Sones. No chil- 
dren. His second wife was Sate Barden. Their 
children were Claude, Nona, George and Albert. 

(6) Joseph, married Nettie Lybolt. No children. 

(7) Benjamin, married Emily Jones. Their chil- 
dren were Jennie, Octavia, Emma, Zepha and 
Everet. 

David Jones 

David Jones and his wife, Almira Frost Jones, 
came to Leslie in 1850. Their children were: 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 41 

(1) Daniel. 

(2) Emily. 

(3) Lafayette. 

(4) Helen. 

(5) Eveline. 

The children of Daniel and Mary Jones were Alice, 
Thomas and Fred. 

The children of Emily and Benjamin Miner were 
Jennie, Octavia, Emma, Zepha and Everet. 

The children of Lafayette and Adeline Jones were 
Addie, Frank and Bert. The children by his second 
wife, Martha Elliot, were Anna, Milo and Glen. 

The children of Thomas and Evelina Hunt were 
Mira, Arthur, Cecile and William. 

The children of Thomas and Helen Hunt were 
Earl and Clarence. 

Joseph Woodhouse 

Joseph Woodhouse and his wife, Clarissa Dunham, 
settled in Leslie township in 1842. They had seven 
children : 

(1) Eliza, married Mr. Dikeman. No children. 

(2) Emily, died unmarried. 

(3) Lemuel, married Caroline Ward. Their chil- 
dren were Estella and Olive. 

(4) William, married Sarah Kirby. Their chil- 
dren were Charles, Bert, Fred and Frank. 

(5) Nancy, married Daniel Crossman. They 
had one child, Onie. 

(6) Jane, married Leonard Rice. Their children 
were Mary, Bert and Edward. 

(7) Isaac, married Jane Eaton. Isaac invented 
the first paper-cutting machine ever made. His son, 



42 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Camie, possesses the gold medal awarded him for 
this machine. 

Willliam Doty 

"William Doty came to Leslie by way of Detroit in 
1837. S. O. Russell was to assist him in locating a 
claim. He invited Mr. Doty to stop for dinner on 
his arrival, but Mr. Doty declined, saying he did not 
have time to stop just then. Mrs. Russell gave him 
a slice of bread which he ate on the run as he tried to 
keep up with Mr. Russell who took him at his word 
and plunged into the woods at once. They located 
160 acres three and one-half miles north of Leslie, 
now known as the ** Campbell Farm." Soon after 
his arrival he bought the state right for a patented 
water-lime cistern. His brother assisted him in the 
construction and they frequently cleared $25 a day. 

Later he disposed of the homestead and purchased 
what is now known as the "Elias Sanders Farm,*' one 
mile north of Leslie. Here he carried on a large stave 
mill and cooperage business. The mill was operated 
by horse-power, for which he kept fifteen horses. He 
afterwards tapped maple trees for sugar, making as 
high as 2000 pounds in one season. 

Wolves were so common that he gave them little 
thought. His great personal strength made him in- 
different to physical danger. He seldom carried a 
gun for protection. He could hold an iron weight 
of seventy-five pounds poised on his extended hand. 
No Indian he ever met could hold more than fifty 
pounds. He was a man of an iron will and great 
energy, He was said to have seen more daylight 
and worked more hours than any other man in the 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 43 

surrounding country. He died in 1895 at the age 
of 83 years. 

William Doty married Matilda Page in 1840. 
They had two children. 

(1) William, married Augusta White. Their 
children were Edward, Oscar, Clarence, Maurice and 
Richard. 

(2) Libby Doty, married Albert Dennison. 
Their children were Nellie and Albert, both of whom 
died in infancy. 

William Doty married Rebecca Harlow for his 
second wife in 1860. Their children were: 

(1) Dora. 

(2) Jay. 

(3) Clara. 

Dora married John Clatworthy. Their children 
were Clara and Ray. 

Jay Doty married Harriet Eliza Pickett. Their 
children were Paul, Harriet, Elizabeth and Clarence. 

Clara Doty married Charles Frederick Pickett. 
They have no children. 

Nelson B. Backus 

Nelson B. Backus and bride, Nancy Bugbee, set- 
tled in Leslie township on Section 9 in 1837. Their 
first child, James, was born the following year in 
February. He is said to have been the second white 
child and the first boy born in the township. There 
were four children in this family : 

(1) James P., married Almira DeLamater, Feb. 
22, 1860. They had four children: William, Alta, 
Artie and L. C. who died in childhood. 



44 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(2) Ellen, married William DeLamater. They 
had one child, Cora, who died in infancy. 

(3) Edwin N., married Mary Wilcox, daughter 
of J. W. Wilcox. They had one son, Nelson. 

(4) Fred, married Celia Miner in 1877. They 
had one son, Victor O., who died in 1912. 

Silas Kirby 

Silas Kirby and his brother, Isaac Kirby, settled 
on the farm now owned by George Wilcox in 1837. 
Later this place was known as the ''Tufts Farm." 

Silas Kirby had seven children : 

(1) Mary. 

(2) Austin. 

(3) Allen. 

(4) Stephen. 

(5) Charles. 

(6) Fred. 

(7) Sarah. 

Stephen ran away from home at night in borrowed 
clothes to go sailing. The father took away the 
clothes of the son at night to prevent his threatened 
departure. This great love for marine life descended 
to his son, Frank E. Kirby, who is, without doubt, the 
greatest marine engineer America has ever produced. 
He has designed the largest passenger boats on the 
Great Lakes, among them being the Tashmoo, the 
Eastern States, the Western States, and the See and 
Bee. His latest river passenger steamboat * 'Wash- 
ington Irving," largest carrier in the world, 6000 
people, runs from New York to Albany. He has rep- 
resented the United States in many important con- 
ferences and recently returned from Europe where 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 45 

he attended the International Marine Safety Confer- 
ence as one of the delegates from the United States. 

Homer King 

Homer King and his wife, Arsenith Giles, came 
to Leslie in 1836. As first settlers they experienced 
the usual hardships and privations. Mrs. King said 
that at times wolves came so near to the log cabin that 
she could see their eyelashes. Mr. King was famous as a 
hunter. S. O. Russell gave him $10 as a bounty for 
the first wolf killed in the township. Often when 
walking to his own home from the farm of Nelson 
Backus, he was obliged to carry a burning fagot to 
keep the wolves at bay. Indians were proverbial 
beggars, especially for buttermilk. It was the fam- 
ily custom when a band came to set out the stone 
churn that they might have all they desired. Honey 
was often exchanged for baskets which the squaws 
were expert in weaving. 

Homer King had four children : 

(1) Hiram. 

(2) Cynthia Ann. 

(3) Henry. 

(4) Charlotte. 

Hiram married Frank Hoyt. They had two chil- 
dren, Addie and Frank. 

Cynthia Ann married James H. Ford. They had 
six children, Lenora, Homer, Myrtie, Lenna, Nina 

and Ben. 

Henry married Flora Bennett. They had three 
children, Jerry, Claude and Harry. 

Charlotte died when twelve years old. 



46 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Theodore Clark 

Theodore Clark married Deha Parish. They set- 
tled on the county line in 1 840, but later moved to a 
farm one and one-half miles north and two miles 
east where they lived for many years. This is the 
Mr. Clark mentioned in connection with Dr. Wood- 
worth. He had six children: 

(1) Polly, married Austin Haywood. Their chil- 
dren were Delia and Adelbert. 

(2) Alva Clark, no record. 

(3) Charles, married Josie Russell. Their chil- 
dren were Alva, George, Dewitt and Charles. 

(4) Elmina, married George Bonnell. Their chil- 
dren were Herbert, Henry, Theodore, George, 
William, Charles, Mary and Edna. 

(5) Eunice, married Hersley Marston. Their 
children were Boyd, Pearl, Floy and Delia. 

(6) Anson, married Laura Kinsinger. Their 
children were Freda, Fay and Howard. 

Orange Barlow 

Orange Barlow came from New York to Leslie in 
1841. His wife, , Elizabeth Whaley, and five child- 
ren came with him. Their home was a very primi- 
tive log house with a blanket for a door and cloth for 
windows, keeping out, as Artemus Ward has 
said, **the coarsest of the cold." After paying for the 
moving Mr. Barlow had fifty cents left to tide over 
until he could get a start in his new home. He ob- 
tained his meat by hunting and earned flour for 
bread by day labor for his wealthier neighbors. 
Bears, wolves and deer were very plentiful. In- 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 47 

dians were also numerous, but friendly. A squaw 
sometimes came to the door with a quarter of a deer 
to exchange for a bag of potatoes. At one time Mr. 
Barlow loaned his rifle to an Indian. Six months 
later the Indian returned the rifle. His squaw bride 
came with him. She had prepared a deer skin that 
was as beautiful as a piece of white silk in payment 
for the use of the rifle. Mr. Barlow thanked them 
and then returned the gift. 

Orange Barlow had six children: 

(1) Caroline Elizabeth, married Clark Harlow. 
Their children were Alfreda, Cynthia, Sarah, Lynn, 
Jasper, Laura, Samuel, Charles, Fred and Lloyd. 
Second husband was Enoch Haynes. 

(2) James, married Martha Cornell. Mrs, Ann 
Wilson was his second wife. He had two children, 
Nettie and Lewis. 

(3) Nathan, married Lizzie Humphrey. Their 
children were Edith, Everet, Brunson, Jtdiette, OH- 
ver, Ula, Claude, Clifford, Florence, Chester and Iva. 

(4) Abner, married Adella Cornell. No children. 

(5) Louisa, married Philander Doxtader. They 
had one child, George Gaylord. 

(5) Ann, married W. D, Longyear. Their chil- 
dren are Henry B. and Burton O. 

(6) Juliette, died in childhood. 

Hiram Austin 

Hiram Austin came to Leslie in 1841. His wife 
was Mary Jared. They had seven children: 

(1) Thomas, married Lucy Hull. They had 
eleven children. 

(2) Hiram, married Phoebe Covert. No children. 



48 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(3) Henry, married Eleanor Lyon. Had four 
children. 

(4) Albert, had three children. 

(5) Janette, married Charles Barden. Two chil- 
dren. 

(6) Lydia Ann, married George Loomis. Three 
children. 

(The names of the children in the third generation 
were not obtained.) 

Thomas Peach 

Thomas Peach came to Leslie in 1840 and settled 
just east of town. He afterwards sold this place 
and bought a farm in Rives township. In 1842 he 
married Clarissa Harlow. They met with many in- 
teresting experiences in the new country. Indians 
were common. They were friendly, but Mrs. Peach 
did not trust them. When she saw one coming, she 
would go to the door and call "Thomas.*' After 
she had done this a few times at the visit of one 
old chief, he ever after when nearing the house 
would shout at the top of his voice "Thomas" be- 
fore he approached the door. Pork and potatoes 
were traded for baskets. When they could spare 
no more, they hid the supplies in the cellar and asked 
the Indians to look into the empty barrel. 

Thomas Peach had eight children: 

(1) Alex, married Clara Downing. Their chil- 
dren were Ida, Cora and Ethel. 

(2) George, died at 16. 

(3) Seymour married Annette Bissell. Their 
children were Clara, Maurice and Alice. 

(4) Mary, (5) Ella and (6) Frank died young. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 49 

(7) Cora, married Robert Walcott. Their chil- 
dren were Fern, Winifred, Emma and Warren. 

(8) James, married Martha Walcott. They had 
one son, James D. Peach. 

T. J. Blake 

T. J. Blake and family moved from Jackson to 
Leslie in 1841. They first made their home in the 
log house owned by Elijah Wood worth but after- 
ward moved into the country about one-half mile 
north of town. T. J. Blake was a cousin of Alba 
Blake, the first store-keeper in the village. There 
were eight children in the Blake family: 

(1) Elizabeth, married Solomon Woodworth. 
Their children were Loretta, Esther, Sarah, Byron, 
Harriett, Herman and Burdette. 

(2) Susan, married Martin Maxson. Their chil- 
dren were Flora, Harriet, Charles, Alt a and Clar- 
ence. 

(3) Alonzo, married Anna Albro. They had 
one daughter, Kittie. 

(4) Christina, married Henry Maxson. Their 
children were William, Herbert, Edwin, Alonzo 
and Miriam. 

(5) Melissa, married Alden Ferguson. Their 
children were Hugh, Miriam, Malcolm, Hoyt and 
Beatrice. 

(6) William, married in the East and his family 
is unknown. 

(7) Orson, died in childhood. 

Tniman Wilbur 

Truman Wilbur located in Leslie in 1842. In 



50 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

1841 he married Lucy A. Miner. Five children 
were born to them, three of whom died in infancy. 

(1) Eunice, married Charles Huntley. Their 
children were John, Bertha and Frank. 

(2) Lucy, married David Ward. Their children 
were George and Elmer. 

Truman Wilbur married as his second wife Bet- 
sey Parrish, Oct. 8, 1848. Their children were: 

(1) John. 

(2) Lucinda. 

(3) Sarah. 

John married Mary Coy. They had six children. 
Two died in infancy. The others were Emma> 
Blanche, Homer and William. 

Lucinda married Alexander McDougall. Their 
children were Nancy, Cora, Meda, Axie, Truman, Zoa, 
Agnes, Rinda, Theresa and Madge. 

Sarah married Frank Clickner. Their children 
were Frankie, Josie and Wells. 

Truman Wilbur married as his third wife Teresa 
Ward, Sept. 25. 1864. They had two children. One 
died in infancy. 

(1) William, married Helen Campbell. 

Isaac Huntoon 

Isaac Huntoon was a native of Vermont and his 
wife was born in New Hampshire. They came to 
Michigan in 1841 and settled in Leslie township. 
Their journey was made via Lake Erie, Detroit, Ann 
Arbor and Jacksonburg. An ox-team was the 
means for conveyance of the family of nine children 
he brought with him. Huntoon lake and creek are 
named after this early settler. R. B. Huntoon, 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 51 

who was SO well known to all the children of the vil- 
lage by reason of the interest he always took in their 
material welfare at Christmas time, was the seventh 
son in this family and hence was always known as 
"Doctor", or, more famiHarly, as ''Uncle Doc." 
When Uncle Doc was buried, the school was closed 
in his honor and many beautiful flowers expressed 
the tribute and esteem of the children for their 
friend. 

Isaac Huntoon had three wives. Their children 
were as follows: 

(1) WilHam, married Clara Stone. Their chil- 
dren were Isaac, Bertha, Josiah, James, Anna, Hat- 
tie, Lena, Ora and Thales. 

(2) Thales, married three times. Last wife was 
Mary Olds. Their children were Elmer, Calvin, Loa, 
Floy, WilliC; Clara and Norah. 

(3) Luther, married Eliza Rolf. They had one 
adopted child. 

(4) Richard, married Jane Jeffords. Their chil- 
dren were Myron and Grace. They adopted one 
son, Merton. 

(5) Mary, married Hazard Watson. Their chil- 
dren were Mary, Louis and Arthur. 

(6) Wallace, married Lydia Ferine. Their chil- 
dren were Isaac, Alice and Mary. 

(7) Philinda, married Henry Hodges. Their 
children were David, Romeo, Alice, Alvira, Minnie 
and Henry. 

(8) George, married Lydia Lindsey. Their chil- 
dren were Layetta, Elmira, Kaleb, Rosa and George, 

(9) Samuel, married Harriet Brown. Their chil- 
dren were Annette, Adelbert, Fanny, Wilson, Henry, 
and Augusta. 



52 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Abram Housel 

Abram Housel was living in Leslie in 1842. He 
married Mary Jane Smith of Leslie township. He 
had one son, Herbert Eugene. Herbert Housel had 
one son, Abram, who died in 1893. 

John Housel 

John Housel was living in Leslie township as early 
as 1849. He lived on the farm now owned by 
Robert Wright. 

Matthias Housel 

Matthias Housel, brother of Abram and John, 
came to Ingham county in 1850. He lived on the 
farm now owned by Mrs. John Wilbur. He had six 
children : 

(1) Mary Jane, married A. T. Brininger. Their 
children were Gertrude, Claudine and Clyde. 

(2) Josephine, married J. T. DuBois. Their 
children were Milford, Leone, Lucy, Laura, Linn, 
Erma, Ernest, Lucile and Vern. 

(3) Louisa, married Robert Wright. Their chil- 
dren were Lela, Rodney, Emory and Lloyd. 

(4) James, married Nora Gue. 

(5) Dora, married James Fowler. Their children 
were Emmet, Hally, Maggie and Belzora. 

John B. Dunsha 

John B. Dunsha and family came from Ohio to 
Michigan in 1843. They settled one mile north and 
one-half mile east of Leslie. Their children were: 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 53 

(1) Daniel. 

(2) Harriet. 

(3) Clarissa. 
Harriet died when 12. 

Daniel married Charlotte Chapman in 1861. They 
had one child, Harriet. 

Clarissa married Mr. Smith. They had one son, 
George, who lives at Wheeler, Michigan. 

Harlow Norton 

Harlow Norton and his wife, Susan Carson, came 
from Ohio to Leslie in 1843. He was able to pur- 
chase and pay for a farm southeast of town. The 
family met with the usual struggles of early settlers. 
To this was added the death of several little ones. 
Mr. Norton could never think of those early strug- 
gles without a feeling of sorrow. At one time when 
he was very homesick, a letter came from Cleveland, 
Ohio, without postage. His heart ached for the 
waiting message but it had to wait until he could 
bum the timber, scrape up the ashes and take them 
with his ox-team to the leachery where ** black salts '* 
were extracted before he had the cash for the post- 
age that made the letter his own at last. To get 
flour it was necessary to go to Detroit or to Dexter, 
and several days were consumed on the trip, for the 
roads were mere trails along which an ox-team made 
slow progress. 

Mrs. Norton was bom Oct. 23, 1826, and died in 
Leslie June 24, 1896. Mr. Norton was born May 4, 
1820, and died Feb. 18, 1904. Their childem were: 

(1) Alma. 

(2) Aurelia. 



54 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(3) Anson. 

(4) Edmond. 

(5) Alice. 

(6) Josephine. 

(7) Ernest. 

(8) Anna. 

Four of these children died in childhood. 

Alma married George Taylor. Their children 
were Leon, Roy and Zack. 

Alice married Wellie McMath. Their children 
were Ellena and Paul. 

Josephine and Anna still reside in the old home in 
Leslie. 

Erastus L. Lumbard 

Erastus L. Lumbard and his wife, Eliza Armstrong, 
located in Leslie in 1843 on what is now the Eli Sher- 
man farm. A. A. Lumbard, a son, telling of those 
early days said: "At one time my father and sev- 
eral of the neighbors went with five ox-teams to 
Eaton Rapids to mill. They had waited because of 
bad roads until there was only enough meal left in 
the house, for one Johnny cake. My mother made 
the cake and portioned it out carefully that it might 
last until the men returned. She ate none herself 
but at the end of the second day we were obliged to 
go to bed hungry. At eight o'clock that night the 
men returned with the meal ground for the grist and 
my mother then made a Johnny cake, roused us 
from our sleep and fed us that our hunger might 
be satisfied. My father did the spinning. Many an 
hour I have seen him spin wool for stockings and 
cloth. The wool was carded at Eaton Rapids.'' In 
the winter when there was no other food for the 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 55 

stock, Mr. Lumbard felled elm and basswood trees 
for the cattle to browse upon. 

Erastus Lumbard had eleven children: 

(1) William. 

(2) A. A. Lumbard, married Sarah Woodworth. 
No children. 

(3) George, married Loretta Gowers. Their 
children were Maude and Mabelle. 

(4) Orvil, married Lizzie Miles. Their children 
were Benjamin and Edith. 

(5) Elizabeth, married Samuel Marston. Their 
children were Delilah and Ortenah. 

(6) Julia. 

(7) Melvina, married Joseph Andrews. No chil- 
dren. 

Harry Backus 

Harry Backus came to Leslie on a visit from Pike, 
Wyoming Co., N. Y., in the fall of 1844. He became 
homesick and returned to New York. After a year 
he returned for another visit and this time was con- 
vinced that the ''New West" was the place for young 
men with much brawn and little money. He there- 
fore purchased 50 acres of timber land on Section 9 
at $1.25 per acre, cleared a spot for a home and re- 
turned to New York for his bride, Abigail Palmer, 
whom he brought to Michigan in 1850. He jour- 
neyed via Lake Erie by steamboat to Detroit, then 
by rail to Jackson where he hired R. H. Davis to 
move his goods to his new home in Leslie township. 

They knew what it meant to face the difficulties 
incident to pioneer life, but persevered with courage 
and succeeded very well. Later he purchased forty 
acres from Freeman Shaver and made that his home. 



56 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

At his death in October, 1899, he left the place to 
his eldest son, Perry P. Backus, who still resides on the 
same. Harry Backus was no sportsman. Thus the 
deer that occasionally came to the spring on his farm 
called the "Deer Lick" were not disturbed. In his 
family there were six children. Three died in child- 
hood. 

(1) Perry, married Fanny E. Standley. They 
had one child, Romai^da A. 

(2) Helen, married Philo E. Lacy. No children. 

(3) Alice, married Edward Abrams. No children. 
The present home of Helen and Alice stands on the 
site of the first log home of Harry Backus. 

Arnold Walker 

Arnold Walker came from Seneca Co., .N. Y., to 
Leslie in 1844, when about nineteen years of age. 

During the early years of his residence he had much 
to do with the Indians. They frequently came to 
his house to beg for food, especially during the maple 
sugar season. Mrs. Walker frequently gave them 
sugar in the form of wax. A clean chip was the dish 
used and many an "Ugh! heap good!" showed their 
delight in the toothsome sweet. Although Mr. 
Walker had been denied by circumstances much 
book education in his youth, by sheer force of innate 
worth he became a leader in the township affairs 
and in the building up of the village of Leslie. He 
was captain of the military company Avhose head- 
quarters were at Mason. This company was called 
the Curtenius Guards and won many prizes in state 
contests. He helped organize the First National 
Bank of Leslie, was active for many years in church 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 57 

work, was prominent as a politician, and served a 
term in the state Legislature. He loaned a great 
deal of money for his friends in the East to the pro- 
gressive farmers of Ingham county and thus hastened 
the development of the country. He was one of 
those rare souls who are constantly thinking of 
others and their welfare and did not spare himself. 
Arnold Walker married Matilda Chandler of Ing- 
ham county. There were ten children born to them, 
five of whom died in childhood. The five who grew 
up and married were : 

(1) Manley. 

(2) Mary. 

(3) Claude. 

(4) Mattie. 

(5) John. 

Manley married Etta Gardner. They had two 
children, Arnold and Lewis. 

Mary married George Norton. Their surviving 
children were Ada and Lee. 

Claude married Helen Allen. They had one 
daughter, Kate. 

Mattie married F. C. Woodworth. Their children 
were Vemor, Walker and Harry. 

John married Georgia Blair. They had one son, 
Hugh. 

Lyman Miner 

Lyman Miner came to Leslie from New York some 
time before 1844. His wife was Lydia E. Wilbur. 
Seven children were bom to them : 

(1) Edward. 

(2) Asa. 

(3) Alonzo. 



68 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

(4) Joseph. 

(5) Levi. 

(6) Rosina. 

(7) Lillian. 

Edward had three children, Eva, Claude and Burl. 

Levi married Emma Ashby. Their children were 
Charles, May, Grace and Flora. 

Rosina married Dewitt Meach. Their children 
were Emma, Eddie and Bertha. 

Lillian married Herbert Howe. Their children 
were Ora, Verne, Claude, Edward, Charles, Clarence, 
Clyde and Matie. 

Alonzo never married. 

James Harkness 

James Harkness was born in Orange county, N. Y., 
He married Harriet Archer in 1833. In 1844 they 
came to Henrietta, Jackson county. In 1845 they 
bought a farm on Section 12 in Leslie township. 
Here they endured the discomforts of early pioneer 
life, raised a family, and saw, before their death, a 
thriving, happy land. In those early days Indians 
and wild animals were common visitors. One day 
one of their neighbors, Aunt Betsy Robinson, heard 
a pig squeal. Looking out she saw a huge black 
bear inside the low rail pen. She ran out with her 
rolling pin in her hand and hit the bear on the nose 
and finally drove him out of the pen. 

James Harkness had seven children : 

(1) Emeline, married Henry Van Deusen, of 
Jackson. Their children were Adelbert and William. 

(2) Rescome, was twice married. His first wife 
was Mary Dewey. She had one child, Cora. His 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 59 

second wife was Eliza Woodland who had three chil- 
dren, Walter, Earle and Nellie. 

(3) Hannah, married Sawyer Lockwood. Their 
children were Alice and Nettie. 

(4) Caroline, married Hugh Blakely. No chil- 
dren. 

(5) Orange, married Adelia Fields. Their chil- 
dren were Wesley, Ethel, Flossie, Rupert, Dayton 
and Bessie. 

(6) Alraina, died in infancy. 

(7) James, married Jane Overacre. Their chil- 
dren were Blanche, Guy and Irene. 

Dr. J. D. Woodworth 

Dr. J. D. Woodworth and his wife, Mary Orcutt 
Woodworth, located in Leslie about 1850. To- 
gether they endured the many hardships incident to 
pioneer life. The doctor made his professional 
calls on horseback over the deer-paths or Indian 
trails that in many cases were called roads. Many 
nights he would get lost and wander around until 
daybreak. In telling of his first professional call 
the Doctor said: '*I never felt quite so important 
in my life. The call was from a family named Clark 
who lived east of town. After I diagnosed the case 
of the boy who was ill I left medicine and directions 
for its use. I then picked up my saddlebags and 
started to go when the father of the boy said : * Well, 
Doc, don't you think such and such a thing would 
be good for the boy?' I picked up the saddlebags 
and the medicine and said: 'I see you know more 
about the case than I do, so you do not need my ser- 
vices.' Mr. Clark began to laugh and said: *Well, 



60 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

young man, that is exactly what I wanted you to say 
I wanted to know if you were going to let me dictate 
to you/ " The Doctor took the case and the boy 
recovered. As long as he was able to work he treated 
the Clark family. He would often laugh over his 
early experiences and say: "Those were certainly 
happy days. Would that I could Hve them over 
again." 

Dr. Woodworth was a graduate of Rush Medical 
College and during his Hfetime held many offices of 
trust with credit to himself and honor to the com- 
munity. His greatest blessing through those early 
days was the loving sympathy and care of his wife 
who is still Hving. He died in November, 1910. 
They had five children: 

(1) Mary. 

(2) Zack. 

(3) Ward. 

(4) Blanche. 

(5) George. 

Mary married John F. Young. Their children 
were Fanny and Kate. 

Zack married Luella Woodworth. Their children 
were Phil and Lottie. 

Ward married Achsah Howard. Their children 
were Pearl, Mary, James, John, Lucille and Florence. 

Edward Variell 

Edward Variell was bom in St. Thomas, Canada, 
in 1821. He married Jane Searls in 1845. They im- 
mediately began housekeeping on the Variell home- 
stead on Section 1, Leslie township, which is now 
owned by Jack Barber. Their children were: 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 61 

(1) Louisa. 

(2) Daniel. 

(3) Stephen. 

Lotiisa married H. C. Freeland. Their children 
were Orin, Dudley and Maude. 

Daniel married Ada Rutty. Their children were 
Inez, Floy, Blanche, Walter, Stephen, Alda and 
Minniebelle. 

Stephen married Cynthia Rutty. Their children 
were Charles, Orville and Loa. 

Edward Variell enlisted in Company G., 12th 
Michigan Infantry and died at Niles, Mich., on Feb. 
28, 1862. He was the first soldier from LesHe town- 
ship to be brought home to be buried. 

John Craddock 

John Craddock and his wife, Mary A. Craddock, 
settled in Leslie in 1850. To them were born seven 
children : 

(1) Mary, married Lorenzo Whitney. Their 
children were Frank, Charles, Homer, Jennie and 
May. 

(2) John, married Martha HulHng. Their chil- 
dren were John and Mabel. 

(3) Charles, no record. 

(4) EHza, married S. E. Miner. Their children 
were Olga, Exer, Roy, Lurania and Anson. 

(5) Sarah, married John Wilkie. Their children 
were Daisy and Bertha. 

(6) Emeline, no record. 

(7) Alfred, married Elizabeth Hill. Their chil- 
dren were Maude, Edward and John. 



Earl^ Pioneer Home 
Life 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 65 

EARLY PIONEER HOME LIFE 

It is hard for the present generation, living in a 
country which has every indication of having been 
inhabited for a long period of time, to realize that this 
township was a virgin wilderness at as late a date as 
1835, or less than eighty years ago. The country was 
covered with a dense primeval forest where the trees 
often lay in matted windrows as the result of a cy- 
clonic storm. The low-lands were swampy for one- 
half of the year. Into this wilderness came the early 
pioneers, driving their kine to the chosen section of 
land! .The first urgent necessity was to clear the 
land for tame grasses and grains to grow. See them 
strain every effort to beat back the surrounding for- 
est. The circle of cleared land is forced back. For- 
est giants are girdled, felled, hacked into mammoth 
logs, piled up and burned. Predatory birds and ani- 
mals are killed. Many a cornfield was destroyed by 
the wild pigeons and crows. Squirrels were shot by 
thousands to save the first acres of wheat. Deer 
were driven from the fields of corn and hay. Skunks^ 
martins, weasles, and their ilk, depleted the chicken 
flock by nightly raids. Even the pigs were lugged 
off by wandering bears. Everything seemed to con- 
spire to prevent the settlement and subjugation of 
the country. Water supplies were often polluted 
and typhoid was prevalent. The swarming pools: 
furnished mosquitoes that not only made life miser- 
able for at least seven months in the year, but also 
caused the dreaded fever and ague that reduced the 
victim from a strong man to a mere shell by its in- 
sidious attacks, recurring at regular intervals of 
time, long after the first infection. 



66 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Yet under all this stress and strain the primeval 
idea of a home drove the indomitable settlers to 
daily hard work. The logs were hewn and notched 
and drawn up into a pile. Then came a general in- 
vitation to the country side for a "raising/' The 
sturdy men came, their wives and children, and even 
the crippled, to the event, by twos and threes, 
through the forest paths and along the poor roads. 
When a sufiBicient number had assembled, the chosen 
leader directed the strongest men to lay the founda- 
tion logs in place. One by one the walls were ex- 
tended upward to the requisite height, the plates 
placed and the rafters hoisted for the roof. A rous- 
ing feast closed the work in the middle of the after- 
noon and ere dusk had fallen every one was on his 
way home. The roof was made from shakes rived 
from logs, and the cracks between the logs were 
chinked with moss and then plastered. The floor 
was in most cases at first only the dirt. Later it 
was covered with sawed plank. A mud and stick 
chimney at the end led from the yawning fireplace 
of the log cabin. The attic was reached by a pole 
ladder from one comer of the kitchen. Ofttimes 
the under side of the shake roof was filled with 
thorn brush twigs and on each thorn was stuck a 
dried pigeon breast as store for winter consumption. 
Doors and windows were blankets or crude heavy 
shutters. Some cabins had two rooms. Many had 
only one. The beds were in one corner, the table in 
the middle, and the fireplace at; the other end. 

The housewife labored diligently to provide food 
and clothing for her husband and children. Cook- 
ing was done by the fireplace. Food that could be 
cooked in a kettle was hung by a crane over the 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 67 

flames. Bread was baked in a ''Dutch oven'* which 
was made of tin and was set in front of the fire. 
Johnny cake and biscuit were baked in iron skillets 
over coals which were drawn out on the hearth. 
The skillets stood on legs five inches long which 
raised them above the coals and thus prevented the 
burning of the cakes or biscuit. Stoves did not come 
into use around Leslie until about 1850. Mush of 
Indian com mixed with milk was a favorite article 
of diet. The common use of fresh meat was rare. 
Such meat as was left over from the fall surplus at 
killing time was salted or corned for future use. 

Spinning and weaving were common occupations. 
Mrs. Palmyra Hahn says: '*I well remember a 
plaid dress my mother spun and wove for me. The 
wool was picked and then taken to Eaton Rapids to 
be carded.'' 

As a rule the days were full of work for all. Some- 
times a family would suddenly decide to give a party 
in the evening. A messenger went from house to 
house giving the invitations. Often the time was so 
short that a regular supper could not be prepared, 
but when other food was not available the toothsome 
pancake or corn meal mush was served. Old-time 
games were played or the ever-ready fiddler tuned 
up his ancient instrument and a lively dance fol- 
lowed. Square dances were the rule. Many times 
distant guests were entertained over night. 

Husking bees were held at various farms during 
the fall. After an evening of strenuous work at 
which wit and repartee were gaily exchanged, and 
where there was much good-natured bantering 
among the men, a dance closed the evening's fun. 



68 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Pumpkin pie and sometimes cider were served as 
refreshments. 

Sometimes two or three families would crowd into 
one sleigh and go to spend the evening with a neigh- 
bor. The children spent the time popping com 
while the older people sat and scraped sHces of ruta 
bagas and told stories. It was usually midnight 
before they reached home with the slow-plodding 
ox-team. 

Skating parties were often held on the ponds. A 
huge bonfire was the rallying center. Races between 
rival skaters were common and sometimes a rude 
form of a cotillion would be gone through by the 
assembled merry-makers. 

THE FIRST CELEBRATION OF THE FOURTH OF 
JULY IN LESLIE 

The Fourth of July was first celebrated in LesHe 
about 1848. The exercises of the day took place in an 
opening in the woods near where the Adventist 
Church now stands. In this glade a rude stage was 
erected and long tables built for the feast. A pa- 
rade, composed of nearly all of the men, women and 
children of the town, started from the old hotel where 
the Murphy store now stands. Each state was rep- 
resented by a lady in characteristic attire. A flag 
was proudly carried at the head of the procession 
and a drum corps furnished the music. An anvil 
was fired for the '*big noise.*' After the glade was 
reached a program of patriotic songs, addresses and 
recitations was given. Then came the feast. A 
large roast pig graced the center of the table. It 
was flanked with all sorts of game — ^turkey, duck, 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 69 

venison, quail, and partridge, were in great abun- 
dance. A bowery dance was held in the evening. 
Somewhat in contrast to the spirit of these later 
days, these hardy pioneers rejoiced to be able to par- 
ticipate in the celebration of the natal day of our 
Nation. 

A List of the Resident Taxpayers of the Township of 
Leslie for 1844 Whose Family Records 
were not Obtained 

Asher Robinson, Mose Curtis, George Higdon, 
John Barry, Clark Harlow, L. G. Sanders, William 
Page, Enoch Hare, Thomas Clossen, A. C. Harlow, 
Wheaton Sanders, William Jones, William W. Dewey, 
Chauncy Smith, Sally Miles, Seneca Hale, Joshua 
Whitney, Anthony Ingalls, Ephraim Wortman, 
Whitman Albro, Peter Ward, Stephen Weeks, Eliz- 
abeth Gardner, Samuel T. Rice, Henry Meeker, Val- 
orous Meeker, H. L. Freeman, Henry Fiske, J. R. 
Cowden, George Huntoon, Barna Filkins^ Jacob 
Straight, Calvin Straight, Hiram Hodges, John 
Husel, WilHam Huntoon, Roxalena Dewey, John 
Hale, Denzil P. Rice, Isaac Demick, Alba Blake, 
Jared Reynolds, Hiram Austin, Flavel Butler, Hen- 
ry Freeman, James McCrary, Simeon Polar, Thomas 
Annis, Daniel Jefford, Patrick Brown, Frederick 
Clark, William Barden, D. Wright, W. Wright, 
Benjamin Norton, Daniel Marston, Lyman C. Miner 
and W. D. Landfair. 



Schools and Churches 



- ■% 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 73 

SCHOOLS OF LESLIE 

On Aug. 12, 1837, at a meeting of the school in- 
spectors of the old township of Aurelius, the south 
half of Township 1 North, Range 1 West, was set off 
and organized as School District No. 1 . The north half 
of the same township was organized as District No. 2 at 
the same date. Both districts have been altered at 
various times since. 

The first schoolhouse in the township was built in 
Leslie village in the fall of 1837. It was a frame build- 
ing and was located near the present site of the Congre- 
gational Church. It is now used as a part of a car- 
riage house by J. R. Baggerly. Stillman Rice, a 
brother of Leonard Rice, was the first teacher. The 
second teacher was Mrs. Butler, a sister of Mrs. E. K. 
Grout. Miss Messenger was the next teacher after 
Mrs. Butler. In 1843 EHzabeth Bugbee taught in 
District No. 1 and EHzabeth Godfrey in No. 4. The 
latter district was formed in 1842 in the southwest 
part of the township. 

The first schoolhouse in the village served for many 
years both for schools and religious meetings. One 
old resident says: "I remember the schoolhouse 
distinctly. We spent many exciting afternoons in 
it, choosing sides for a spelling-down contest. There 
was a play-house too, built in the woods just west of 
Mr. Tuttle's residence. There the largest boy or 
girl was elected father or mother and chey had a busy 
time keeping order in their unruly family." In 
time the first building gave way to a brick struc- 
ture which is now used as a chapel by the Congre- 
gational Church. 

Shortly after the Civil War when the town was 



74 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

animated by the return of those engaged so long in 
that deadly strife, there arose an urgent demand 
for a better school building and more teachers. An 
acre of ground for the new school building was given 
by W. J. T. Armstrong on Woodworth street. The 
contract for building the central part of the present 
building which stands on the Armstrong site was 
awarded in 1867 to Woodhouse & Rice, for some- 
thing over $10,000. The building was finished in 
1868. Sept. 9, 1871, this district was organized as 
a Union Graded School District and has continued 
so ever since. A wing on the south side was added 
in 1873 and one on the north side in 1907. The 
present building has nine rooms and is in excellent 
repair. The various grade rooms are adorned with 
beautiful pictures, the gifts of successive classes. 
The laboratory is one of the most complete in the 
county and the library of 1900 volumes is not sur- 
passed by that o^ any similar school in the state. 
In 1912, the lots at the south side of the Armstrong 
site were purchased for a playground and for agri- 
cultural extension work. 

At the death of C. W. Tufts in 1906, he made pro- 
vision in his will for establishing a township high- 
school in Leslie township but the bequest never 
materialized. His library, however, forms the basis 
of the handsome collection of books mentioned above. 
. Since the erection of the present building, the fol- 
lowing men have served as superintendents of the 
Leslie school: Wellington Carleton, 1868-1869; 
Thomas C. Taylor, 1869-1870; Elmer D. North, 
1870-1871; Charles A. Cook, 1871-1879; Charles K. 
Perrine, 1879-1880; Henry C. Rankin, 1880-1884; 
Charles H. Chase, 1884-1886; Alton D. DeWitt, 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 75 

1886-1888; Charles E. Bird, 1888-1894; Abraham 
Knechtel, 1894-1899; Allen F. Rockwell, 1899-1901; 
Henry C. Rankin, 1901-1902; Clarence Vliet, 1902- 
1913. 

The teaching force at the present time is as follows : 
Science, Clarence Vliet; English and History, Flor- 
ence Galusha; Language, Florence Fisher; Mathe- 
matics, Adelaide Cushing; Grades 7 and 8, Miss 
Grace Fisher; Grades 5 and 6, Miss Clara Brown; 
Grades 3 and 4, Miss Lillian Coe; Grades 1 and 2, 
Miss Vema Downs; Kindergarten, Miss Lncile Davis. 
Miss Downs also has charge of the music and draw- 
ing. The present enrollment is 265. 

The first class to graduate from the high school 
was that of 1873, consisting of three members. 
Since that time there have been thirty-five classes 
with two hundred and seventy-six members who 
have graduated. The 1914 class numbers seven- 
teen. Ten of these classes with a membership of 
one hundred and ten have graduated under Mr. 
Vliet, the present superintendent. Brief sketches 
of some of the graduates who have become famous 
in the world will be found under their proper head- 
ing. At the present time the high school is on the 
"Approved List" of the University of Michigan, and 
its graduates are admitted to the University and all 
the colleges of the state without examination. 

It is fitting that tribute should be paid to two men 
at least who did ^''eoman service for the Leslie school 
in its early history. S. O. Russell, that sturdy pio- 
neer, was very active in the struggle to build the new 
building. With his own hands he set out the avenue 
of maples that leads up to the building from the 
street. Professor C. A. Cook on the teaching side 



76 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

first established a high standard of scholarship 
among the student body and urged young men to 
greater effort and a wider sphere in life. To both 
of these men the Leslie school is greatly indebted. 

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 

The economy of the Methodist Church in its organ- 
ization is peculiarly adapted to pioneer work. Hence 
we find as early as 1830 that Eastern Michigan had 
been assigned to the supervision of North Ohio Con- 
ference, Detroit District, and Ann Arbor Circuit. 
Leslie received a small share of the work done in this 
large circuit. 

In June, 1837, the First Methodist Society of Les- 
lie was organized with thirteen members, viz. ; Hen- 
ry Meeker and wife, Benjamin Davis and wife, Dr. 
Valorous Meeker and wife, S. O. Russell and wife, 
James Royston and wife, Benjamin Meeker and 
wife, and Denzil P. Rice. S. O. Russell was the 
first class leader. Washington Jackson and Brother 
Sullivan served as pastors. At this time the name 
of the circuit was changed to Ingham and the 
Conference to Ingham. The meetings were first held 
at the residence of Benjamin Davis one mile west of 
the village. Afterwards they were held in the school- 
house. In 1838 the following members were added 
to the church: Josiah Rice, Laura Rice, Flavel J. 
Butler, Florella Butler, Richard Davis, Susan Caton, 
Washington Scovil, Ephraim Wortman, Anna Wort- 
man, Susan Kirby, Laura A. Rice, Alba Blake, 
Catherine Blake, Nancy Carson, Laura Filkins, Louis 
A. Ravelin, Wm. Vredenburg, Betsey Vredenburg, 
Mary J. Carson, John Hawkins, Nancy Hawkins, 
Samuel Vredenburg, Henry D. Rice, Clarissa Dunsha, 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 77 

Van Ransaler Polar, Bathsheba Rice, John Parish 
and Edna Rice. 

About 1848 the first society in Bunker Hill on 
Felt Plains was organized and attached to Leslie. 
Ingham Circuit at this time embraced Leslie, Mason, 
Okemos, Bunker Hill, Dansville, Stockbridge and 
some schoolhouse appointments. A. L. Crittenden, 
pastor, lived in Mason where the circuit owned a par- 
sonage. He remained two years and preached once 
in two weeks at each of the places mentioned above. 
Hiram Law was presiding elder. 

In 1856 a Union church was btiilt in which both 
Baptists and Methodists worshipped until 1868. 
Then the Methodists rented a hall until they built a 
church of their own which was completed in 1870. 
In 1866 Rev. Burton S. Mills, a local preacher from 
Lansing, was employed by Rev. C. C. Olds, Presiding 
Elder, to supply the charge. He was the first res- 
ident pastor in this church which consisted at that 
time of Leslie, Felt Plains, and a schoolhouse appoint- 
ment. In 1867 a great revival was held and one 
hundred new members joined the church. Pastor 
Mills remained two years and was greatly beloved. 
The pastors since that time have been as follows: 

1869, A. A. Rolfe; 1872, H. D. Jordan; 1873, J. 
Guiick; 1876, N. L. Brockway; 1878, W. J. Swift; 
1880, Louis De Lamatar; 1883, Charles A. Jacokes; 
1885, Geo. W. Tuthill; 1887, James Webster; 1892, 
Lewis M. Edmonds; 1894, Cyrus A. Varnum: 1897, 
Albert Smith; 1899, Warren W. Lamport; 1907, R. 
Bert Cilley. 

As auxiliaries to the church work there are at 
present a Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, 
Home Missionary Society, two children missionary 



78 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

societies and an Epworth League. The Sunday 
School has an average attendance of 89 and E. C. 
Chapman is superintendent. The membership of 
the church is 200. 

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 

The First Baptist Church of LesHe was organized 
on April 12, 1839, with the following members: 

Mahlon Covert, Sally Covert, Lewis Reynolds, 
Laura Reynolds, Martha J. Ives, Mariah Hazleton, 
Harriet Barden, and Elijah K. Grout. 

Calvin Straight and wife united with the church 
May 11, 1839, and on the same date application was 
made for admission to the River Raisin Baptist As- 
sociation. Elijah Grout was ordained as a minister 
Feb. 16, 1841, and became the first pastor of the 
church. He continued as pastor until 1847. The 
pastors since have been as follows: 

1847, F. Freeman; 1849, David Hendee; 1852, H. 
B. Fuller; 1861, Elijah K. Grout; 1866, Rev. Vro- 
man; 1867, John Dunham; 1868, John B. Kemp; 
1870, W. C. Gunn; 1871, W. C. Archer, W. Gregory; 
1872, H. C. Gallup; 1877, H. S. Bower; 1879, John 
Heritage; 1883, A. M. Buck; 1885, J. W. Ainsworth; 
1887, W. H. Mills; 1890, F. M. lams; 1891, H. A. 
McConnell; 1894, H. K.Wilbur; 1897, J. C. Robillard; 
1899, R. H. Monroe; 1903, John O. Vince; 1907, M. 
J. Holtsclaw; 1909, Leslie Bower; 1910, W. J. Cop- 
sey. Rev. McConnell supplies the pulpit at present. 

The early meetings of the church were held in the 
schoolhouse. In 1856 it was voted to make an effort 
to build a meeting-house and a frame structure was 
commenced which was completed two years later. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 79 

William Taylor had the contract for the building of 
the church. He was assisted by Lorenzo Whitney, 
Mr. Hoag and others. This building was after- 
wards veneered with brick in 1887 and is the present 
church edifice. In 1871 a parsonage on Race street 
was constructed at a cost of $2000. During the 
pastorate of Rev. Vince a pipe organ was installed 
in the church. The present church membership is 
140. The Sunday School has an average attendance 
of 89 and A. C. Lake is the superintendent. 

At the time of the building of the Baptist Church, 
Mrs. Romina Haynes and Mrs. P. Rolfe, organized a 
Ladies' Sewing Society to assist in furnishing the 
church. There were 13 charter members: Mrs. 
Abbie Haynes, Henriette Taylor, Mary Woodworth, 
Lucinda Rolfe, Romina Haynes, Sally Ann Sitts, 
Susan Robinson, Emily Gibbs, Idris Grout, Mary 
Russell, Celia Adams, Ellen Adams, and Catherine 
Weeks. They employed the time at their meetings 
in sewing, knitting, and embroidery. They sewed 
for individuals, bought material for garments, and 
sold them at the stores. They also bought calico 
pieces and made quilts. In time the society was 
able to buy the sash and glass for the windows in the 
new church which they also painted. On Novem- 
ber 26 they appointed a committee to select and pur- 
chase the articles which were required for the fur- 
nishing of the edifice. 

FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH 

The Free Will Baptist Church was organized in 
1873 with about 35 members. The organization 
of the church was due principally to the Rev. Wil- 



80 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

liam Gray. A frame chapel was built in the sum- 
mer of 1874. It was situated near the sight of the 
first schoolhouse on the comer of Belle vue and Arm- 
strong streets. 

The pastors of the church were: 

WilHam Gray, J. S. Manning, Milo Coldron, J. F. 
Bolles, F. R. Randall, C. S. Bisby and Rev. Van 
Warmer in the order named. In 1880 the church 
had a membership of 80. The society was disbanded 
in 1890 and the building sold to Mr. Bickhart who 
moved it to Mill street where it was later destroyed 
by fire. 

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 

A Congregational Church was organized in the 
village of Leslie with eight members on Feb. 12, 
1843, by Rev. Marcus Harrison, pastor of the church 
in Jackson. The members were : Henry Fiske and 
wife, William Huntoon and wife, Benjamin Bing- 
man and wife, Kendrick Leach and wife and Eliz- 
abeth Bugbee. Meetings were held once a month 
by Mr. Harrison and Rev. Thomas E. Emerson for 
eight months. At the end of this time the organiza- 
tion was dissolved. 

In 1861 the Rev. Edwin W. Shaw, a member of the 
Southern Michigan Association, visited Leslie. He 
moved here with his family in October, 1861, and 
labored until April, 1865. On April 9, 1865, the fol- 
lowing persons constituted the First Congregational 
Church of Leshe: Mrs. Sarah Tufts, Mrs. EHzabeth 
Barlow, Rev. Edwin W. Shaw, Mrs. Mary Wheaton, 
William F. Huntoon, Mrs. Clarissa Huntoon, Mrs. 
Amanda Shaw, Mrs. Phoebe Perrine, Mrs. Mary 
Woodworth, Nelson B. Slocum, Edward M. Craig and 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 81 

Mrs. Agnes Slocum. Rev. Thomas Jones of Olivet 
and Rev. Marshall Tingley of Sioux City, Iowa, 
assisted at the organization. William F. Huntoon 
was chosen deacon and E. W. Shaw church clerk. 
The organization took place in the schoolhouse at 
Leslie. In October, 1868, the old brick schoolhouse 
was purchased by the society and converted into a 
chapel. It was dedicated Jan. 3, 1869, by Rev. 
W. B. Williams of Charlotte and is still in use as a 
part of the church property. In 1869 Mr. Shaw 
resigned the pastorate and Rev. J. W. Allen began 
his labors which continued until 1875. In 1869 a 
parsonage was purchased for the use of the pastor of 
the church and a permanent organization was 
effected in August of the same year. The present 
church edifice was dedicated in 1884. Great credit 
should be given Rev. W. C. Allen who was pastor at 
that time for urging the work to completion. The 
pastors since the establishment of the church have 
been as follows : 

1869, J, W. Allen; 1875, William Mulder; 1878, 
John Visscher; 1879, A. E. Ross; 1881, James L. 
Watts; 1882, Rev. Wilkinson, J. M. Smith; 1883, W. 
C. Allen; 1887, F. M. Coddington; 1890, F. W. Bush; 
1892, C. M. Arthur; 1894, J. J. Stealey; 1896, John 
Claflin; 1908, W. C. Allen. 

The present membership of the church is 78. The 
Sunday School has an average attendance of 50. 
J. R. Baggerly is the superintendent. 

THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH 

The Seventh Day Adventist Church was organ- 
ized in 1877 with the following charter members: 



82 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Wm. B. Irwin, Mary Irwin, A, J. Richmond, 
Nellie Richmond, Wm. Barden, Harriet Barden, 
Martha Pasco, Betsey Shaw, EHzabeth Page, Char- 
lotte Chapman, Edson Hazelton, Wm. J.. Stone and 
Lticy Stone. The present church building was built 
in 1883. The present church membership is 14. 

ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH 

St. Mary's CathoHc Church of LesHe was estab- 
lished in 1882 by Rev. Fr. Buysse of Jackson. 
Meetings were held in Union Hall until the church 
was completed. At first there were about thirty 
regular communicants but owing to death and re- 
movals this has been reduced to twenty-one at the 
present time. 




o 

00 



;3 
o 

as 



Leslie Bops Worthp 
of Special Mention 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 85 

LESLIE BOYS WORTHY OF SPECIAL MENTION 

Homer Reed 

Homer Reed, son of Thomas Hitchcock Reed and 
Mary Wilcox Reed, was born in Rives township, 
August 26, 1847. In 1854 his father moved to Les- 
lie and engaged in business with H. T. Allen and 
later with R. L. Covert until his death in 1866. 

The early education of Homer Reed was under 
the guidance of James Blackmore in the old brick 
district schoolhouse of Leslie. Of Mr. Blackmore 
and his early school life Mr. Reed says: "The fig- 
ure of James Blackmore stands out prominently as 
a teacher well equipped to meet the rough conditions 
encountered in the public school of that day where 
in one room a teacher was obliged to teach seventy- 
five pupils in all branches from A B C to algebra. 
Mrs. William Taylor was also one of my teachers in 
the brick schoolhouse. She was a most gifted and 
accomplished instructor who made study a labor of 
love.*' 

Mr. Reed graduated from the University of Mich- 
igan in 1872. In 1873 he located in Kansas City 
where he still resides. He studied and practiced 
law for awhile and later adopted real estate loaning 
as a business which he still prosecutes under the 
name of the **Homer Reed Investment Company." 
He was postmaster of Kansas City under Cleveland. 
He was a charter member of the Humane society, 
is somewhat of a writer on economics and sociology, 
and is an enthusiast on peony culture, having over 
200 varieties — ^the finest collection in the middle 
west. 

In 1879 Mr. Reed married Laura Coates, daughter 



86 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

of one of the prominent pioneer families of Kansas 
City, They have six children. 

Norman W. Haire 

Norman W. Haire was bom in Jackson county, 
Mich., Feb. 24, 1855. He obtained his early educa- 
tion at the Annis district school, the Leslie high 
school, and the Ann Arbor high school where he 
graduated in June, 1876. He graduated from the 
University of Michigan with the degree of A. B. in 
1880, and with the degree of LL.B. in 1885. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1885, settled at Rock- 
land, Mich., was elected prosecuting attorney, 
1886, and held the of&ce until 1891 when he was 
appointed by Governor Winans as judge of the new 
32d Circuit. In the fall of 1892 he was elected to 
fill out the term and was re-elected in 1893 and 1899 
and again in 1905 without opposition. Soon after 
his election in 1905 he resigned to take charge as 
General Manager of the Bigelow Mines — Osceola, 
Tamarack, Isle Royal, Ahmeek — and the Lake 
Superior Smelting Co. In 1909 he resigned from 
this position since which time he has been manager 
of mines in Utah and New Mexico although contin- 
uing to reside in Hancock, Michigan. 

Judge Haire was married July 3, 1880, to Miss 
Lydia Moore of Leslie. They have two children. 

Charles W. Tufts 

Charles W. Tufts was born in 1856. He was the 
son of George A. Tufts and Sarah Petty s. He grad- 
uated from the Leslie high school in 1876 and en- 
tered the University of Michigan in the same year, 
graduating in 1880 with the degrees of A. B. and 



HISTORY OP XESLIE, MICHIGAN 87 

M . A. He began teaching at once in Sheboygan, Wis . , 
and afterwards became principal of the Kalamazoo 
high school and of the township high school at Ot- 
tawa, 111. He remained in Ottawa until 1887 when 
he went to Germany and studied at Berlin and Leip- 
sic. On his return to this country he located in 
Grand Rapids and, in company with a classmate, 
opened a law and real estate office. While there he 
built two hundred dwelling houses and the apart- 
ment house known as the Wellington. In 1901 he 
removed to Detroit and formed a partnership with 
W. W. Hannan, under the firm name of Hannan & 
Tufts. This firm built the Madison, Pasadena and 
other well-known apartment houses in that city. 
At the dissolution of this partnership Mr. Tufts 
undertook the building of the finest structure he 
had ever planned, The Charlevoix, in Detroit, and 
had made plans for erecting a yet larger building in 
Brooklyn. He died in 1906 after a short illness, 
from uraemic poisoning. 

Mr. Tufts was married Sept. 18, 1877, to Gertrude 
Clapp. He had one adopted daughter, Lura Brown. 

Mr. Tufts was greatly interested in the village of 
Leslie. For several years he wrote a weekly letter 
to the Local-Republican in which there was much 
philosophy of life and evidence of the cultural priv- 
ileges he had enjoyed in his University and foreign 
study. For several years he gave the graduating 
classes beautiful class pins. He also gave town im- 
provement prizes, prizes for the final debates in the 
Lyceum, and prizes for personal hygiene in the 
grades. At his death his will made provision 
for the founding and support of a township high 
school in Leslie township. His library and pictures 



88 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

were to go to this school. This library at present 
forms the basis of the excellent library in the public 
school. It is said that when a child, he visited the 
only library in Leslie, consisting of a few worn books in 
Burchard's store. The need of a library for the com- 
munity use was so evident to him that he exclaimed : 
''Leslie shall have a library when I am a man if I 
buy it myself!" The provision in his will was the 
evident outgrowth of the childish resolve. 
:■,. Had Charles W. Tufts lived, the bequest in his will 
of $10,000 in cash and $1000 a year for twenty years 
for the proposed township high school would have 
been but a modest beginning for the many helpful 
plans he had in mind for his native place. That the 
proposed school has not been built because, in the 
final settlement of the estate, its shrunken values 
would not permit the fulfillment of the bequest is 
simply indicative that no one could direct his intri- 
cate affairs so well as the master himself. Had he 
lived, all his plans and more would have been 
realized. 

Horace H. Rackham 

Horace H. Rackham was born in Harrison town- 
ship, Macomb Co., Michigan, on June 27, 1858. He 
is the son of Simon Rackham and Ann Rackham. 
His parents became residents of Leslie township in 
1874. As a boy Mr, Rackham attended the dis- 
trict school taught by Joseph Compton, and entered 
the Leslie high school in 1877. At this time Prof. 
C. A. Cook was principal and Norman W. Haire his 
assistant . He graduated from the high school in 1 878 
and through the advice of Professor Cook and Mr. 
Haire decided to study law. He accordingly entered 



HISTORY OP LESLIE, MICHIGAN 89 

the office of a practicing attorney in Detroit and on 
June 5, 1884, was admitted to the bar in the Wayne 
County Circuit Court, and on Nov. 18, 1898, to 
the District Court of the United States for the East- 
ern District of Michigan. 

Since his admission to the bar Mr. Rackham has 
led a busy professional life. He has never entered 
into politics. 

In 1903 Mr. Rackham assisted in the formation of 
the Ford Motor Company of Detroit and has shared 
in the prosperity of all connected with that great 
automobile concern. Although at the present time 
he has ceased the active practice of his profession, 
his many business interests require a large share of 
his time. 

On Nov. 11, 1886, Mr. Rackham was married to 
Mary A. Horton, of Fenton, Mich. They have no 
children. 

Edward Boyle 

Edward Boyle was born in Leslie March 5, 1863. 
He graduated from the LesHe high school in 1883. 
He spent one year at OH vet College and four years 
at Ann Arbor where he graduated with the degree of 
A. B. in 1888. After graduation he taught in Mich- 
igan City, Ind., for five years as principal of the high 
school, and then as superintendent of the city schools 
for six years. He then studied law in the Kent 
College of law in Chicago and graduated in 1893. 
Since that time he has been a member of the law 
firm of Boyle, Mott & Haight, and Secretary and 
Treasurer of the firm of Abraham Baldwin. Mr. 
Boyle is also Commissioner and Chairman of a Drain- 
age and Levee District in IlUnois, comprising about 



90 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

10,000 acres which has recently been brought under 
cultivation. 

Arthur J. Tuttle 

Arthur J. Tuttle was born in Leslie township Nov. 
8, 1868. His grandfather, John J. Tuttle, was one 
of the pioneers of Leslie. He graduated from the 
Leslie high school in 1888, and in 1892 from the lit- 
erary department of the University of Michigan with 
the degree of A. B. In 1895 he graduated from the 
law department of the University of Michigan with 
the degree of LL. B. In 1896 he commenced to prac- 
tice law in Leslie and in 1898 was elected prosecuting 
attorney of Ingham County. Two years later he 
established a law office in Lansing under the firm 
^name of Tuttle, Mc Arthur 8c Dunnebeck. He 
has served two terms as state senator, from 1906- 
10. In 1911 he was appointed U. S. District Attor- 
ney for the Eastern District of Michigan and in 
August, 1912, was appointed District Judge for the 
same district, which office he now holds. 

Judge Tuttle was married March 11, 1903, to Jessie 
B. Stewart who died August 24, 1912. He has two 
daughters, Ruth and Esther. 



Business Interests 



,g 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 93 

EARLY BUSINESS INTERESTS OF LESLIE 
Stave Factory 

The stave factory of A. J. Bailey & Son was estab- 
lished in 1868, and did a thriving business for many 
years. A cooperage was also owned and operated 
by the same firm. About 2,000,000 staves were 
manufactured annually. The yard and mill were 
opposite the Michigan Central depot. This firm 
went out of business in 1895. 

Tannery 

Andrew and Emory Hahn established a tannery 
soon after their arrival in 1860 and continued in bus- 
iness for several years. This tannery was near the 
present home of Mr. Hocking. 

Mills 

Two saw-mills were built upon Huntoon creek in 
early times. The one was called the Upper Mill 
and was built by Woodworth, D wight & Co., in the 
summer of 1836. It was about twenty rods east of 
Bailey's stave mill. The other called the Lower 
Mill was owned by Henry Meeker and was on Mill 
street. It was later run by Jonathan Shaw and Rice 
Bros., but was finally dismantled. About 1850 S. O. 
Russell erected a steam mill at the corner of Belle- 
vue and Spring streets, which was operated for eight 
years. In 1867 a saw-mill was built by E. Oldman 
and L. G. Becker, on the east side of Huntoon Creek 
east of the M. E. Church. It was burned after run- 
ning for ten years, but was rebuilt by Dean Tylor. 

The first grist mill had about the same location as 
the Meeker saw-tnilL It was built in 1838 by David 



94 HISTORY OP LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

D wight. William Spears completed the mill and 
put it in running order. Dell Haines was the next 
owner. At the time it was burned it was owned by- 
Henry Hawley. 

The second grist mill was situated on the east side 
of the railroad on Mill street just beyond the Meeker 
Mill location. It was built by John Burchard in 
1870 and is now used as a storage house. 

The third grist mill was situated on the comer 
of Race and Church streets. A popular subscrip- 
tion was raised by the people of the town and the 
mill was built by Wilcox Bros, of Jackson. It was 
finally bought by Mr. Bickhart and operated by him 
until it was burned in August, 1904. 

Brick Kiln 

The Rice brothers* brick kiln was situated on the 
creek bank back of the present residence of Claude 
Faught. They made the brick for the first brick 
house in Leslie, the present home of Rev. W. C. 
Allen. Mr. S. O. Russell, assisted by James Torrey, 
William Spears and others, made brick for the first 
schoolhouse, and Samuel Rice made the brick for 
the Lemuel Royston house. 

Foundry 

A foundry was located just west of where the 
Michigan Central depot stands. Kettles, plowpoints, 
plows, drags, stair-plates and many needed articles 
were made here in an early day. 

Miscellaneous 

Mr. Yerby and Mr. James Torry had a lantern 
factory which was located in a building opposite 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 95 

the hardware store of Howard Freeman. A wash- 
ing machine factory was located on Mill Street, 
The machine was known as the ''Ladies' Friend" 
and was widely sold through various agents. Town's 
and Crater's cooper shops were located on Bellevue 
street near the Bailey stave mill. Lemuel Royston's 
wagon shop was located just south of the post-office 
on Main Street, Henry Fry's on Mill Street and Mr. 
Drake's on Main Street near the present shop of 
Mr. Yerby. 

VILLAGE INCORPORATION 

The village of LesHe was incorporated March 30, 
1869. The territory included was the south half of 
Section 21, the north half of Section 28, and a lot in 
the northeastern quarter in the southwestern quar- 
ter of Section 28. The Charter was amended April 
15, 1871; April 18, 1873; March 14, 1877. The first 
election for village officers was held Monday, April 
12, 1869, when eighty-nine votes were cast. The 
officers elected were: President, John D. Wood- 
worth; Recorder, Edwin G. Eaton; Treasurer, Wil- 
liam Spears; Trustees, John R. Von Velser, Alonzo 
B. Kimball, John R. Burdick. 

The following have been village presidents since 
incorporation : 

1869, John D. Woodworth; 1870, Haywood T. 
Allen; 1871, H. B. Hawley; 1872, J. Blackmore; 1873, 
G. B. Loomis; 1874, A. R. L. Covert; 1875, A. Young; 

1876 _ ; 1877, C. C. Walker; 1878, A. 

Hahn; 1879, A. C. Manley; 1880, J. W. Bailey; 1880- 
1892, record lost; 1892-93, J. W. Bailey; 1894, J. 
Wheaton; 1895, A. C. Manley; 1896, J. J. Belcher; 
1897-98, J. D. Woodworth; 1899, W. F. Prescott; 



96 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

1900, W. H. Johnston; 1901, J. W. Davis; 1902-04 
B. M. Gould; 1905-06, A. J. Tuttle; 1907-08, F. L. 
Seger; 1909-10, M. P. Compton; 1911, P. J. Darling; 
1912-13, G. W, Leach. 

VILLAGE PLAT AND ADDITIONS 

No record of a surveyed plat for the village is 
found until November 12, 1866. D. F. Dwight, A. T. 
Ingalls, Levi F. Slaght, James F. Allen, Haywood T. 
Allen and others caused a plot to be surveyed by 
Louis D. Preston on part of the south half of Section 
21 and the north half of Section 28 to which was 
given the name of the Village of Leslie. The follow- 
ing additions have since been made : Godfrey, Aug. 
6, 1868; Shaw, Nov. 12, 1868; Hahn, April 1, 1871; 
Doty and Kimble, Oct. 5, 1871; Armstrong, July 22, 
1872; Sherman, July 25, 1872; Walker, Rust and 
Grout, June 3, 1873 ; Coon, Aug. 10, 1875 ; Woodworth 
and Dwight, Jan. 28, 1876; Clark, July 15, 1889. 

BUSINESS INTERESTS OF LESLIE 
Post-office 

A post-office was established in Leslie in 1838. 
Henry Fiske was the first postmaster. The first 
mail was brought by a man on horseback. It could 
have been held in a cigar box so small was it in 
quantity. After a time it was brought once a week 
by the stage, then twice a week until the railroad 
was built in 1865. 

Hiram Godfrey was postmaster in 1856. Sidney 
O. Russell held it afterwards for several years and 
was succeeded by James Blackmore who held the 
office from 1862 to 1886. His successors were James 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 97 

Blair, 1886-1890; John Belcher, 18904894; Alfred 
Young, 1894-1898; George W. Dennis, 1898-1913. 
The first rural delivery route was instituted from the 
Leslie office in March, 1900. At present there are 6 
routes which serve the surrounding country. The 
office is in the presidential class and the receipts 
during the last fiscal year were $3919.83. 

Fire Department 

In 1870, the village purchased several hand fire 
extinguishers and it was voted on June 21, 1872, to 
purchase a fire engine at an expense not to exceed 
$1000. It was put into service the fall of that year. 
In August, 1872, a lot for the use of the fire depart- 
ment was purchased of Reed & Allen on Carney 
street for $245 and an engine house was built upon 
it. In November, 1873, it was voted to raise $250 
to construct two reservoirs for use in case of fire. 
These reservoirs were to be supplied by the water 
from the various flowing wells. One of these reser- 
voirs was at the comer of Armstrong and Belle vue 
streets. 

Protection Fire Co., No. 2, was organizd June 7, 
1875, with 26 members. It was afterwards dis- 
banded and in the summer of 1880 was reorganized 
under the same name with thirty members, twenty 
belonging to the engine company and ten to the 
hose company. At this time the department con- 
sisted wholly of volunteers. 

The waterworks system which was installed in 
1899 with the standpipe for pressure did away with 
thenecessity for the fire engine. February 19, 1900, the 
fire company was reorganized and reduced to 17 
members. The president of the village was em* 



98 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

powered to appoint the members of the company. 
In February, 1910, the fire ordinance was again revised 
and the president of the village was authorized to 
appoint the Chief, and the Chief was given power 
to name his own officers and full company. In 1908, 
and each succeeding year, C. R. Brown was appoint- 
ed Chief. The officers for 1913 were C. R. Brown, 
Chief and treasurer; D. D. Ranney, assistant Chief 
and secretary. 

Hotels 

The first hotel in the village of Leslie was located 
on the present site of the store of J. J. Murphy. It 
was originally built for a dwelling, but in 1844 was 
remodelled for use as a hotel by Nathaniel and 
Horace Smith. It was burned in 1852 and was 
rebuilt the same year by Horace Smith. Since that 
time the owners in turn were Aaron Ingalls, Homer 
King, Vincent Brown, William Moody, George 
Brough, Peter Standish, Perry Standish, Lafayette 
Andrews, James Hawley and Henry Hawley. The 
building was burned in 1907. 

The Eagle Hotel was built in 1852 by Hiram 
Austin who conducted it for some time. Its owners 
since that time have been Horace Smith, Alonzo 
Kimball, Henry Loundsberry, Mrs. Longley, Wm. 
Carney, James McDaniels, and George Halsted, 
Since the death of Halsted, Wm. Weckerly and W. 
A. Brown have been proprietors under the names 
of the Carroll House and Hotel Brown. 

The Allen House was built in 1872 by H. T. Allen 
& Son. It is a fine brick building on Bellevue 
street east of Main street. The cost of the house and 
fitting the grounds which contained an artificial lake 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 99 

and island, and a bath house was about $20,000. The 
excitement over the mineral wells at Eaton Rapids 
and elsewhere caused the citizens of Leslie to experi- 
ment in the same direction but the enterprise never 
proved a source of profit and the Messrs. Allen were 
unfortunate in their investment. Between thirty 
and forty proprietors have attempted to run this 
hotel but never with much success. Its present 
owner is Ernest King. 

Mineral Spring Block 

In 1872, the building now occupied by the Bailey 
& Wood millinery^^was fitted with bath fixtures by 
S. O. Russell and E. Ward for mineral bath pur- 
poses. The place was made very attractive with 
fountains and flowering plants but it was patronized 
for only a short period of time. The water was bene- 
ficial in a certain class of diseases but the business 
proved a financial loss to all concerned. 

Banks 

A private bank was estabhshed in Leslie by Walker, 
Allen & Co., in the summer of 1869. This company 
was taken over by H. T. Allen & Co. in 1870. The 
banking office was at first in a store across from the 
present bank and afterwards in the Union Hall 
block. The first meeting for the formation of a 
National Bank was in the office of the Allen & Co. 
bank in 1874. The bank of Allen & Co. went out of 
business about the time the Allen hotel was completed. 

The First National Bank of Leslie was established 
in 1864 with a capital of $50,000. The officers were: 
Arnold Walker, President; M. E. Rumsey, Vice- 
president ; C. C. Walker, Cashier. It was reorganized 



100 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

as a state bank in 1886. The name Peoples Bank 
was adopted at that time. The last statement to the 
Commissioner of Banking shows a capital stock of 
$25,000; surplus, $50,000; undivided profits, $7,299.- 
50; deposits, $301,002.27; resources, $388,328.79 
The officers are as follows: President, Arthur J 
Tuttle; Vice-President, M. L. Campbell; Cashier, 
A. L. Bowling; Directors: O. V. Tuttle, A. J 
Tuttle, Grace Annis, M. J. Covert, M. L. Campbell 
Fannie R. Haines and A. L, Dowling. 

Newspapers 

A paper called the *' Leslie Herald'* was estab- 
lished in LesHe in May, 1869, by J. W. Allen, and 
continued several years. Its business was finally 
transferred to that of the Leslie Local which was 
started in August, 1876, by W. W. Cook. 

In 1884 it was purchased by J. T. Campbell who 
edited the paper for two years. He then sold out to 
F. C. Woodworth and B. M. Gould who continued in 
partnership two years. At the end of that time Mr. 
Gould became sole proprietor and shortly afterward 
bought the Republican, a newspaper which had been 
running a short time, and combined the two under 
the name '* Local- Republican." The circulation of 
the combined sheets was 700 and it was issued in 
magazine size. 

In 1904 it was purchased by G. W. Troman who 
made it into a 6-col. quarto. He is the present editor 
and the circulation is 1200 copies. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN lOl 

Bean Mills 

The first bean mill was established in Leslie by 
W. F. Prescott & Co. The Prescott elevator was 
built in 1892 and the McLaughlin & Ward elevator 
in 1897. The latter is now used by the LesHe Grain 
and Produce Company and the Prescott elevator by 
the Leslie Elevator Company. The mill occupied 
by the Leslie Elevator Company at the present time 
was built by M. P. Compton, and rebuilt about four 
years ago. 

LesHe is the center of one of the largest bean raising 
sections in the state. It has been a prominent buying 
market for twenty-five years. About 30,000 bushels 
are handled each year and $50,000 paid out to the 
farmers for the same. Thirty women are employed 
in the mills in hand-picking the product for market. 

Leslie Home Telephone Company 

The Leslie Home Telephone Company was organ- 
ized July 6, 1908. The officers are as follows: 

President, V. H. Grout; Secretary and Treasurer 
W. H, Graves; Attorney, A. J. Tuttle; Manager, S. 
M. Buckingham. 

The following data shows the extent of the system : 

Local subscribers, 280; rural subscribers, 330; toll 
stations, 3; miles of pole line, 64; miles of cable, 1^; 
miles of iron wire, 235. Day and night service is 
given at the local exchange and the toll rates are very 
reasonable. 

Undertaking 

M. V. Armstrong was the first undertaker in Leslie. 
His home was located where Mr. Toohy's now stands. 



102 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

The shop in which he made the caskets was in the 
same yard south of the house. Before his time the cas- 
kets were made by the various local carpenters. 
Rev. Wm. Taylor made a number of them. Mr. 
Titus was the next undertaker. At present this bus- 
iness is represented by Mr. B. A. Davis and Mr. Ogden 
Edwards. 

Lumber Yard 

A lumber yard was started in Leslie by S. O. Rus- 
sell in 1870. V. H. Grout started another in 1872. 
■In 1875 the Walker & Rumsey Company was formed. 
Henry Hodges bought out Walker & Rumsey in 
1877. S. O. Russell gradually went out of business 
and V. H. Grout sold out to Bert Bit hers in 1884. 
Soon after Mr. J. L. Torrey commenced business and 
continu'ed until 1903 when he sold out to Lamb & Co. 
who sent Mr. S. J. Helme to manage the same. Lamb 
& Company, in 1906, disposed of the business to Mr. 
C. N. Holkins, who in 1910 bought the lime and 
building material business of Cyrus Pickett and has 
since managed the combined business. 

Creamery 

A creamery was established in Leslie by Edwin 
Stone in 1888. In 1894 he sold out to Geo. Wilcox 
who ran the business for four years. A company of 
farmers then bought the business and Paul Darling 
became manager. After a time the company was 
dissolved and the business bought by Charles Variell. 
The owners since have been Gregory & Cushman, 
C. N. Holkins, Mr. PuUen and E. J. Kneibehler. 
During the pa$t year the creamery bought 396,000 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 103 

pounds of cream from which was produced 130,000 
pounds of butter for which $38,000 was paid to the 
farmers. 

Nursery Business 

Twenty-one years ago C. N. Flansburg, then living 
on a farm five miles east of LesHe, began in a small 
way to sell strawberry plants. His first catalogue 
had four pages and was mailed in an ordinary envel- 
ope. The business grew so rapidly that he was 
obliged to move to Leslie and here formed a part- 
nership with W. W. Pierson who had developed a 
large business as a specialist in seed potatoes. In 
1905 the interest of Mr. Pierson was purchased by 
E. W. Potter and in 1906 he acquired the interest of 
Mr. Flansburg who remained three years as manager 
of the business. Since that time the business has 
been under the direction and supervision of Mr. 
Potter and has had a steady growth. At the pres- 
ent time plants are shipped to nearly every state in 
the Union. 

Electric Lighting 

In 1889 the village made a contract with the Wes- 
tern Electric Company for an electric lighting plant. 
Afterwards they wished to annul the contract but 
the Western company refused to release them ex- 
cept for $2000. A company, composed of A. A. 
Lumbard, A. R. L. Covert, L. M. Russell, William 
Hutchings, C. A. Pendleton and V. H. Grout, ar- 
ranged to take the plant and operate it as a private 
company. Eighteen arc lights were used to light 
the town. Later incandescent lamps for private 
use were added. The company suffered a nearly 



104 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

total loss of its plant at the time of the burning of 
the Bickhart mill. The plant was rebuilt and con- 
tinued to give service until 1910 when it was ab- 
sorbed by the Commonwealth Company. This com- 
pany now has 200 patrons and supplies the village 
with 25 street lights as well as with power for the 
pumping station. In all about 100-horsepower is 
consumed for lighting and power. 

Water-Works 

The present system of water-works was installed 
by Brooks & Son of Jackson in 1899 at a cost to the 
the village of $16,000. A stand-pipe and direct 
pressure system is combined. The water is ob- 
tained from flowing wells which are about 160 feet 
deep. The water is rather hard and carries a trace 
of hydrogen sulphide but is bacteriologically pure. 
A steam pump was used at first, but in 1910, two 
centrifugal electric pumps were installed. One hun- 
dred and seventy-five taps have been made since the 
system was installed and an average of 78,000 gallons 
is pumped each day. 

The Builders and Date of Building of the Business 
Part of Leslie 

The Union Hall block, now occupied by the Ed- 
wards store, was built by Alfred Young in 1871. 

The Dennis block, now occupied by the post- 
office and the DuBois store, was built by G. W. 
Dennis in 1901. 

The store occupied by Paul Vettere was built by 
Lemuel Royston about 1867. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 105 

For the building owned by G. W. Troman in which 
the Local-Republican is printed no record was ob- 
tained. 

The Scofield block was built by William Sitts. 

The King & Young drug store was built by John 
Belcher in 1894. 

The Russell block, now occupied by the Freeman 
hardware, was built by S. O. Russell in 1873. 

Johnston's store was built by W. H. Johnston & 
Co. in 1906. 

The bank building was built by the First National 
Bank in 1875. 

The Crowley store building was built by W. C. 
Tompkins in 1869. 

The Bates bakery was built in the early seventies 
by Wm. Armstrong. 

The store of M. P. Compton was built by J. W. 
Burchard in 1871. 

The store occupied by the O'Brian millinery was 
moved to its present situation from a site south of 
the Dennis block by Geo. W. Dennis. 

The garage owned by Geo. W. Dennis was built 
by William Haines in 1854. 

The store occupied by Brownlee & Rumsey was 
built by Jonathan Shaw in 1873. 

The Murphy block was built by J . J . Murphy in 1 908 . 

The Robinson drug store was built in 1869 by 
J. B. Dousse. 

The building occupied by DeLamater & Wood was 
built in 1860 by Thomas H. Reed. 

The B. A. Davis store was built by Edward Ward 
about 1866. 



.106 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

The D. C. Morea building was built by H. B. Haw- 
ley in 1876. 

The Smith bakery was built by James McDaniels in 
1893. 

The M. U. R. waiting room was remodeled by James 
McDaniels in 1893. 

The Camp & McDaniels barber shop was built by 
Frank Farmer in 1893. 

The Miner & Baker barber shop was built by Mrs. 
Burchard in 1900. 

The Wood & Bailey millinery stores were built by 
Mr. Woodhouse at a very early date. 

The Ranney store was built by Mr. Harris in 1900. 

The building occupied by E. W. Potter was moved 
there by B. M. Gould in 1894. 

The Mitchell block was built in 1906 by G. S. 
Mitchell. 

The town hall was built in 1887. 

Yerby's tin shop was built by Henry Small in 1873. 

The various blacksmith shops were built as fol- 
lows: John Boyle's by Henry Rice in 1878. Ed. 
Shaw's by Aaron Drake and Russell Godfrey for 
Steve and Clark Flansburg and Alfred Payne. Otis 
Updyke's by himself in 1912. 

The Variell tin shop was built by Orville Variell 
in 1912. 

The Harris tin shop which was built by Mr. Ben 
Gifford was moved to its present location in 1885. 

The cider mill was built by Ed. Baker about 1899. 



Societies 



— ;:::^i 



HISTORY OP LESLIE, MICHIGAN 109 

SOCIETIES 

Grand Army of the Republic 

Leslie village and township were well represented 
in a number of regiments and batteries during the 
Civil War. After the close of the war many veter- 
ans settled in the village and in 1870 they organ- 
ized themselves into a company called ''Leslie Com- 
rades.'* A martial band of seven pieces was also 
organized by W. D. Longyear. With Joseph Wilson 
as captain this company and band made quite a pa- 
triotic display. Assisted by Mr. Stephenson of Jack- 
son they put on a play at Union Hall entitled "The 
Drummer Boy of the Rappahannock" which was a 
great success. 

Custer Council, Order of the Stars and Stripes, 
was organized in March, 1877, with twenty-three 
members. This society flourished for a number of 
years. 

On May 25, 1882, Dewey Post No. 60, Grand 
Army of the Republic, was installed with nineteen 
charter members. W. W. Cook was the first com- 
mander. Dewey Post was named after Captain 
Albert Dewey of Co. A, 20th Michigan Infantry, 
who was killed at the battle of Weldon Railroad, Va., 
in 1865. Major Barnes of his regiment was wounded. 
Dewey was in the act of assisting him to the rear 
when he was killed. The honor of the name was 
fittingly bestowed for he was a true man and a gal- 
lant officer. One hundred and ninety-two names 
are on the muster-roll of this Post. The present 
number in good standing is forty-three. The Past 
Commanders have been: 



110 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Joseph Wilson, A. A. Lumbard, L. C. Rice, R. C. 
Bishop, J. B. Scovel, W. W. Cook and W. D. Long- 
year. 

In the spring of 1902, $600 was raised to erect a 
soldier's monument in the cemetery. It was after- 
wards proposed by Comrade H. C. Rankin to build 
a memorial Hall which would be of use to the G. A. R. 
the W. R. C, and the village. Jan. 13, 1903, a com- 
mittee of five was appointed to receive subscriptions 
for the proposed hall, and another building commit- • 
tee of five to supervise the construction. At 
this meeting C. W. Tufts proposed that the building 
should go to the village as a Hbrary when the G. A. R. 
should cease to use the same. The building was 
dedicated Nov. 18, 1903, and the total cost was 
$4500. At the time of the dedication a debt of $1600 
stood against the property. This debt was after- 
wards paid by the village. The regular meetings of 
the Post and the ReHef Corps are held in the hall. 
A collection of books, reHcs of the war, and many 
curios, is being made and no doubt will, in time, 
become the property of the village library when it is 
established. 

The present officers are: 

Commander, A. H. Laberteaux; Senior Vice- 
Commander, Charles Brunk; Junior Vice-Comman- 
der, Chauncy Carpenter; Quarter-Master, J. B. 
Scovel; Surgeon, Joseph Christie; Chaplain, S. H. 
Jones; Officer of Day, A. A. Leach; Officer of Guard, 
Jerome Cady; Adjutant, W. D. Longyear; Sergeant- 
Major, A. A. Lumbard; Quartermaster-Sergeant, 
William Johnston. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN HI 

Sons of Veterans 

The William A. Belcher Camp, No. 26, Sons of 
Veterans, was organized February 23, 1886, with H. B. 
Longyear as captain and a membership of thirty- 
two. Mr. Belcher was a member of the 12th Mich- 
igan Infantry and died?in prison in Macon, Ga. This 
organization afterwards surrendered its charter. 

Woman 's Relief Corps 

Dewey Relief Corps was organized in 1886 by 
Sarah A. C. Plummer of Lansing, with twenty-two 
members. EHzabeth Tibbets Wilson was the first 
president. Over one hundred names have been en- 
rolled as members of the corps but death has reduced 
the membership to about forty. Dewey Corps con- 
tributes yearly to the flower fund that decorates 
many thousand graves of unknown dead that lie 
buried beneath southern skies. It has presented 
each LesHe Church and the kindergarten of the 
school with a beautiful silk flag. Its special work 
is in looking after the needs of the old Veterans and 
those dependent upon them, visiting the sick and 
providing flowers for them, and teaching patriotism 
in every possible way. 

The present officers are as follows : 
President, Alice Baker; First Vice, Lucinda Lab- 
erteaux; Second Vice, Cynthia Potter; Secretary, 
Lucy Bishop; Treasurer, Mary Smith; Chaplain, Mi- 
nerva Jones; Conductor, Sarah Ackerson; Assistant 
Conductor, Matilda Blaisdell; Guard, Marion White; 
Assistant Guard, Mary Stockwell; Color-bearers, 
Sarah Lumbard, Florence Christie, Genela Riley, 



112 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 



Frank Torrey; Patriotic Instructor, Lucinda Laber- 
teatix; Press Correspondent, Palmyra Hahn; Musi- 
cian, Minnie Foster. 

Masonic Orders 

Leslie Lodge No 212, F. & A. M., was organized 
in the winter of 1865-66. In January, 1866, it re- 
ceived a charter from the Grand Lodge. Its mem- 
bership was twelve. The first Master under dispen- 
sation was O. D. Ford. Dr. J. D. Woodworth was 
the first Master of the lodge after it had a charter. 
Its membership in 1913 was 147. The present offi- 
cers are as follows : 

Worshipful Master, B. 0. Lumbard; Senior War- 
den, Fred R. Allen; Junior Warden, R. H. Nichols; 
Senior Deacon, A. E. Greene; Junior Deacon, Leon 
Sammons; Secretary, B. A. Davis; Treasurer, George 
W. Leach ; Stewards, W. R. Clements, Branch Fischer; 
Chaplain, Rev. W. C. Allen; Marshal, W. H. Johnston; 
Tiler, John A. Winchell. 

Leslie Chapter, No 100, R. A. M., was organized in 
1876 with nine members. Allen C. Manley was the 
first High Priest. The present membership is 73 
and the officers are as follows : 

High Priest, W. H. Johnston; King, Fred R. Allen; 
Scribe, Ogden Edwards; Treasurer, Benjamin Wood; 
Secretary, F. M. Prine; Captain of the Host, Clarence 
Vliet; Principal Sojourner, H. J. King; Royal Arch 
Captain, B. A. Davis; Master 3rd Veil, W. F. Pres- 
cott; Master 2d Veil, B. O. Lumbard; Master 1st 
Veil, Branch Fischer; Sentinel, S. J. Helme; Stewards, 
M. P. Compton, W. R. Clements; Chaplain, Rev. R. 
B. Cilley. 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 113 

Leslie Council, No. 50, R. & S. M. was organized 
in 1876 with twelve members. Edward Oldman 
was T. I. M. The present membership is 79 and the 
officers are as follows: 

Thrice Illustrious Master, M. P. Compton; Dep- 
uty Illustrious Master, W. R. Clements; Principal 
Conductor of the Work, W. H. Johnston; Captain 
of the Guard, W. F. Prescott; Treasurer, M. L. Camp- 
bell; Recorder, B. A. Davis; Conductor of the Coun- 
cil, F. R. Allen; Steward, Clarence VHet; Sentinel, 
S. J. Helme. 

The Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter No. 26, 
under what was then known as the ''Adoptive Rite 
of Masonry" was instituted in Leslie in 1870. It 
existed for sixteen years and surrendered its charter 
in 1886. The present chapter, No. 155, was insti- 
tuted in 1895 and has enjoyed eighteen years of 
great prosperity. Its present membership is 155 
and it enjoys the distinction of having among its 
members two Grand Officers of the Grand Chapter 
of the State of Michigan — ^Worthy Grand Matron, 
Melina Maxson, and Grand Ruth, Mrs. Margaret 
Troman. The present officers of LesHe Chapter, No. 
155, are as follows: 

Worthy Matron, Margaret Troman; Worthy Pat- 
ron, W. F. Prescott; Associate Matron, Maude Wood; 
Treasurer, Frances Foley; Secretary, Sophronia 
Leach; Conductress, Pearl Layton; Associate Con- 
ductress, Grace Taylor; Adah, Nellie Morea; Ruth, 
May Norton; Esther, Tillie Young; Martha, Lucile 
Davis; Electa, Sybil Edwards; Chaplain, EHzabeth 
Wood; Organist, Emma Johnston; Warder, Lena 
Miner; Sentinel, A. V. Norton. 



114 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

Independent Order of Foresters 

Foster Lodge, No. 95, I. O. O. F., was organized 
January 25, 1866, with eight charter members. Philo 
B. Abbey was the first presiding officer. The lodge 
has eighty -two members, and the officers are : 

N. G., Leroy Warner; V. G., Leslie Woodworth; 
R. S., James Craddock; Chaplain, Clyde Young; 
Warden, Fred Holtz; O. G., Jay Farley; I. G., Thom- 
as Grow; Con., George Jones; R. S. to N. G., Samuel 
Mills; L. S. to N. G., Fred Hart;R. S. to V. G., Ran- 
kin Young; L. S. to V. G., — 

Knights of Pythias 

The Knights of Pythias were organized February 
23, 1903, with the following officers: 

C. C, M. L. Campbell; V. C. C, L. C. Lumbard; Pre- 
late, W. Longyear; M. of W., F. J. McDaniels; M. of E., 
W. H. Johnston; M. of F., W. H. Graves; K. of R. 
and S., A. Bowling; M. of A., W. R. Clements; I. G., 
S. M. Mizer; O. G., C. H. Starkweather. 

The present membership is 72 and the officers are : 

C. C, O. J. Edwards; Vice-C, Howard Freeman; 
Prelate, B. A. Davis; M. of E., R. H. Nichols; M. of 
F., A. J. Stitt; K. of R. and S., J. W. Bailey; M. of A., 
; I. G., D. L. Kent; O. G., A. J. Wheaton. 

Modern Woodmen of America 

Leslie Camp No. 1707, M. W. of A., was organized 
November 17, 1896, with the following officers: 

Venerable Consul, W. S. Rhodes; Worthy Adviser, 
H. L. Royston; Ex-Banker, G. H. Schenck; Clerk, 
G. S. Mitchell; Escort, J. A. Lincoln; Watchman, 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 115 

C. E. Fenner; Sentry, J. H. Babcock; Managers, 
F. M. Farmer, W. H. Johnston, H. W, Brown; Phy- 
sician, J. N. Green. 

The present membership is 51 and the officers are: 
Venerable Consul, C. H. Luther; Worthy Adviser, 
E. W. Potter; Ex-Banker, C. E. Fenner; Clerk, N. 
Hocking; Escort, F. A. Armstrong; Watchman, J. 
W. Knauf; Sentry, F. D. Jones; Managers, C. H. 
Luther, E. W. Potter, Rankin Young; Physician, 
A. E. Greene. 

Modern Brotherhood of America 

Martha Lodge No. 1404, M. B. of A., was organ- 
ized by Geo. W. Aiten, June 28, 1904, with thirty- 
three charter members. The officers were: 

President, William Rogers; Vice-President, Thos. 
Woodrow; Secretary, John W. Davis; Treasurer, 
Ada Davis; Conductor, Fred Haltz; Chaplain, Mar- 
tha Woodrow; Watchman, Ella Haltz; Sentry, 
Clarence Haltz. 

The lodge at present has 21 members and the offi- 
cers are: 

President, Herbert Grossman; Vice-President, 
Fred Haltz; Secretary, Katherine Slack; Treasurer, 
Josephine Miles ; Conductress, Edith Haltz; Chap- 
lain, Edith Grossman; Watchman, John Haltz; Sen- 
try, WilHam Slack. 

[7 \ Royal Neighbors 

The Royal Neighbors who were organized May 7, 
1900, have at present twenty -three benefit and 
five social members. The officers are ; 

Oracle, Ida Farley; Vice-Oracle, Estella Wood- 



116 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

worth; Past Oracle, Lucy Mitchell; Chancellor, Del- 
phina Cazier; Recorder, Carrie E. Phillips; Re- 
ceiver, Anna Armstrong; Marshal, Ada Oldman; 
Assistant Marshal, Sadie Horton; Inner Sentinel, 
Minnie Man; Outer Sentinel, Myrtle Knauf; Mana- 
gers, Irene Torrey, Sadie Horton, Susie Reynolds. 

Knights of the Modern Maccabees 

Leonard Art Tent K. O. T. M. M. was organized 
February 15, 1892. The officers at present are as 
follows : 

Past Commander, John C. Haltz; Commander, 
Clayton Jewel; Lieutenant Commander, Thomas 
Jones; Record Keeper ; Finance Keep- 
er, Rankin Young; Chaplain, S. O. Vince; Master-dt- 
Arms, Fred C. Haltz; Sergeant, Frank L. Mason; 
Right Guard, Walter Wilson; Left Guard, Claude 
Leach; Sentinel, Frank Coon. The present mem- 
bership is 63. 

Lady Maccabees 

The Lady Maccabees were organized April 2, 1889. 
The officers were: 

Past Commander, Hattie Laberteaux; Comman- 
der, Minnie Young; Lieutenant Commander, Sarah 
A. Mark; Record Keeper, Jessie M. Green; Finance 
Keeper, Lucy Mitchell; Chaplain, Emily Stone; 
Medical Examiner, John Green; Sergeant, Clara 
Purdy; Mistress-at-Arms, Susie Reynolds; Sentinel, 
Barbara Rolfe; Pickett, NelHe Beadle. 

The present membership is twenty-six and the 
officers are: 



HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 117 

Past Commander, Lottie Rumsey; Commander, 
Lou Lansing ; Lieutenant Commander, Clara Pickett ; 
Finance and Record Keeper, Lina Pickett; Chap- 
lain, Abbie Fox; Sergeant, Edith Barr; Mistress-at- 
Arms, Susie Reynolds; Picket and Sentinel, Sarah 
Michael. 

Telephone Grange 

Telephone Grange received its name because it 
was organized, over the telephone on November 20, 
1900. The regular meeting at which organization 
was planned to take place was made impossible by 
reason of a bad storm. Nothing daunted the organ- 
ization was finally effected as described above by 
Deputy Master P. G. Towers of Lansing. There 
were thirty charter members. December 5, 1900, 
Telephone Grange met at North LesHe schoolhouse 
and received their charter. No. 874. The following 
officers were elected for 1901 : 

Master, Manley Van Auker; Overseer, W. J. Lewis; 
Lecturer, C. R. Hasbrouck; Steward, E. E. Beadle; 
Assistant Steward, Ray Blackmore; Chaplain, E. E. 
Sherd; Secretary, Leon Sammons; Treasurer, W. D. 
Longyear; Gate Keeper, Mike Hendershot; Pomona, 
Mrs. Perry Backus; Ceres, Mrs. Elmer Beadle; Flora, 
Mrs. M. VanAuker; L. A. Steward, Mrs. J. Laxton. 

The G. A. R. Hall at LesHe was secured as a reg- 
ular meeting place and the first regular meeting held 
there January 24, 1901. 

The present officers are: 

Master, Thomas Barr; Overseer, Roy Wood; 
Steward, Floyd Taylor; Lecturer, Grace Wood; 
Assistant Steward, Ollie Wood; L. Assistant Stew- 
ard, Isabelle McCreary ; Chaplain, Mrs. W. D. Long- 



118 HISTORY OF LESLIE^ MICHIGAN 

year; Secretary and Treasurer, Flave Taylor; Gate 
Keeper, Emery Perry; Pomona, Mrs. C. Jewell; 
Ceres, Mrs. T. Jones; Flora, Mrs. Elmer Chapman. 
The present membership is sixty-four. 

E. 0. T. C. Club 

The Ladies' Literary Club of LesHe was organ- 
ized in 1893 under the name of ''The Twentieth 
Century Club". It was federated in 1894 and 
changed its name to "The E. O. T. C. Club" (End 
of the Century Club). 

The club is in a flourishing condition and has 
fifty-three active, seven musical, six associate, and 
seventeen honorary members. 

The present officers are: 

President, Helen Lacey; Vice-Presidents, Alice 
Helme and Sadie Jones ; Secretary, Zora Buckingham ; 
Treasurer, Emma Johnston; Auditor, Jessie Annis; 
Reporter, Rosa Whitney. 

In 1910, the club erected a drinking fountain on 
Main street which was dedicated to Mrs. Delia Stitt. 
A rest room was provided in 1912 and a gift of $130 
made toward fitting out the new school play-ground. 

The Elijah Grout Chapter Daughters of the Amer- 
ican Revolution 

The Elijah Grout Chapter Daughters of the 
American Revolution was organized in Leslie, 
on October 7, 1910, by Mrs. Kittie Bailey, with 
sixteen charter members, viz : Kittie Bailey, Lucile 
Conger, Lois DuBois, Ruby Greene, Lenora Hutch- 



HISTORY OP LESLIE, MICHIGAN 119 

ings, Minnie Kimmel, Margaret Kimmel, Olive Kit- 
chen, Elva M-urphy, Carrie Poxson, Laura Scovel, 
Lennie Stitt, Lucretia Scofield, Henriette Taylor, 
Grace Taylor and Mina Vliet. 

The officers appointed for the first year were as 
follows: Regent, Mrs. Kittie Bailey; Vice-Regent, 
Mrs. Elva Murphy; Corresponding and Recording 
Secretary, Miss Olive Morse; Treasurer, Mrs. Lois 
DuBois; Registrar, Mrs. Mina Vliet; Chaplain, Mrs. 
Henriette Taylor; Historian, Mrs. Minnie Kimmel. 
These officers have been re-elected each year with 
the exception of the Vice-Regent who resigned in 
the second year. The vacancy was filled by the 
election of Mrs, DeHa Fogg. A second Vice-Regent, 
Mrs. Frances Foley, was added in 1912. The present 
membership is twenty-two. LesHe has the dis- 
tinction of being the smallest town in the state that 
has a chapter of Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion. 

The chapter has taken up various lines of work. 
Each year it has contributed to the deficit in the 
Memorial Continental Hall Fund ; sent a small amount 
to the fund for the support of [Real Daughters; its 
name is among the list that presented the bronze 
seal of the state to the University of Michigan; it 
has offered prizes and assisted students in the Leslie 
high-school; cared for the grave of the widow of a 
Revolutionary soldier; signed and circulated petitions 
for a sane Fourth and for other worthy projects. 
The work for the past year has centered largely upon 
the early history of Leslie, a labor of love and 
patriotic devotion. An effort has been made to 



120 HISTORY OF LESLIE, MICHIGAN 

bestow honor upon the early pioneers and to 
bequeath through these pages to the coming genera- 
tions a realization of what they owe to these worthy 
ancestors. 

For Family Records which were not obtained 



Ellis Publishing Company 

Printers, Binders, Electrotypers 

Battle Creek, Mich.